Shore lawmakers eye Murphy’s massive budget surplus for taxpayers, schools, economy

Shore lawmakers eye Murphy’s massive budget surplus for taxpayers, schools, economy

Sean Kean

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey lawmakers representing Monmouth and Ocean counties weighed in on the budget unveiled by Gov. Phil Murphy calling for reinvestment to directly benefit all residents as a recession looms.

Murphy highlighted a budget surplus of more than $10 billion during his annual state budget message Tuesday, nearly double from the previous year.

“It is not common for a governor to have billions at his disposal, much less two years in a row,” Sen. Robert Singer said. “Governor Murphy had the opportunity last year to ease many residents’ economic concerns by giving that money back to the people. Instead, he has chosen to double-down on a deeply flawed ANCHOR program, which many residents have yet to see any relief.”

Residents are still waiting to receive ANCHOR checks from the budget passed in July. The deadline was initially Dec. 31, but after below expected participation the deadline was extended to Jan. 31 and again to Feb. 28.

“This tremendous surplus should be used prudently,” said Assemblyman Sean Kean. “With inflation and increasing costs for gas, health insurance, and supplies, there are many school districts that could greatly benefit from this surplus.”

Ned Thomson

Assemblyman Ned Thomson also said that this trend of multibillion-dollar surpluses may be a sign of a bigger issue, citing the over collection of taxes as the likely culprit.

“While the Governor touts this surplus as a sign of a strong foundation, it is unfortunately a sign of over-taxation,” Thomson continued. “Recent studies show that a staggering majority of businesses believe New Jersey is somewhat or entirely unaffordable. The resulting mass exodus of residents and businesses is a drain on our state’s prosperity and talent. Governor Murphy must prioritize the residents and businesses of New Jersey with this budget surplus and provide the long overdue relief they have been pleading for.”