TRENTON, N.J. – In their response to Gov. Phil Murphy’s second budget address to the Legislature Tuesday, Republicans warned that proposed tax hikes, expensive programs, lack of pension and health benefit reform and a failed school funding formula would drive families and businesses out of the state.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said, “Unfortunately this Governor forgot to speak to the taxpayers. Who he was speaking to was special interest. If he was speaking to the taxpayers what he would have spoken about was capping state spending just like we cap local spending. If Governor Murphy was talking to taxpayers he would not have raised income taxes.”
For the second consecutive year, Murphy seeks to balance his budget with tax hikes. His $38.6 billion budget includes the controversial millionaire’s tax, which raised the rate on income over $5 million to 10.75 percent last year. For the 2020 fiscal year, Murphy wants to levy that rate on all income over $1 million.
“It’s going to raise taxes on a segment of our population that are very mobile people and can move,” said Assembly Republican Budget Officer John DiMaio (R-Warren).
United Van Lines, an American moving and relocation company, says that twice as many people are moving out of the state than moving into the state.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union) said, “We are concerned Governor Murphy’s income tax proposal is extremely dangerous. We believe the income tax proposal will drive the continued out migration from New Jersey.”
According to Truth in Accounting, which researches state financial reports annually, New Jersey is in the worst fiscal position in the nation. Democrats’ traditional idea of improving the state’s fiscal position is increasing spending despite being unable to afford the existing programs.
“In this year and last year, as it stands now in the Governor’s proposed budget, it is about $3.9 billion dollars in increases in two years. If you do that times four, it is almost $16 billion dollars if we were to project out over the next seven years, including this year. That will eclipse the record for increase in spending,” said DiMaio.
Since the state Legislature has been under Democratic control, New Jersey has been ranked the worst and most expensive state to own a business and the increases in cost of living have outpaced inflation every year.
“If we don’t start to address the real budget problems in this state, we are going to continue down a road that makes this state more unaffordable” said Bramnick. “This Republican party is going to stand up and say no to more taxes and say no to more spending.”