NJ's $117 billion spending problem, writ large: Bergmann - Garden State Initiative


Public Spending, GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS NJ’s $117 billion spending problem, writ large: Bergmann

February 1, 2019


Opinion Editor Randy Bergmann of the Asbury Park Press ( writes on the Adding It All Up report issued by Garden State Initiative this week:

A new report showing the myriad sources of government revenue in New Jersey and where and how the money is spent provides a valuable 30,000-foot view of how our tax dollars (and fees, tolls and surcharges) can be spent more efficiently.

The report, “Adding It All Up: An Impartial Look at NJ’s $117 Billion Government,” comes at a time when the Legislature and governor are about to enter a new budget season. The number in the title of the report — $117 billion — should get everyone’s attention. Hopefully, it will draw the attention of Gov. Phil Murphy, who has said tax increases may be needed to balance his 2019-20 fiscal budget, which he will unveil next month.  The state’s Democratic leadership, which has been pushing a number of fiscal reforms recommended by a bipartisan task force, has said it won’t support any new taxes. This report should help bolster the case for drawing a line in the sand.  

Commissioned by the conservative think tank Garden State Initiative, the report reinforces my long-held belief that New Jersey doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. 

Read the full piece here.