Press of Atlantic City: Murphy proposes to tax and spend like there’s no tomorrow - Garden State Initiative

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Governor Murphy, Economic Opportunity for All

Press of Atlantic City: Murphy proposes to tax and spend like there’s no tomorrow

March 2, 2020

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Gov. Phil Murphy raised taxes dramatically in his first two years in office and, with help from a Legislature controlled by fellow Democrats, increased New Jersey government spending by $2.6 billion.

This week he proposed his third budget. Once again it would do nothing to address the state’s dire fiscal condition and utter lack of business competitiveness. But it would again raise taxes on overburdened residents and businesses and spend even more — an 18% jump in three years of budget proposals.

Murphy wants to push the N.J. budget past the $40 billion mark for the first time, nearly $1 billion past.

Gov. Phil Murphy raised taxes dramatically in his first two years in office and, with help from a Legislature controlled by fellow Democrats, increased New Jersey government spending by $2.6 billion.

This week he proposed his third budget. Once again it would do nothing to address the state’s dire fiscal condition and utter lack of business competitiveness. But it would again raise taxes on overburdened residents and businesses and spend even more — an 18% jump in three years of budget proposals.

Murphy wants to push the N.J. budget past the $40 billion mark for the first time, nearly $1 billion past.

He proposes putting an extra $157 million into the sinkhole that is NJ Transit, increasing the total state subsidy of its infamously underperforming train and bus system to $826 million. Taxpayers would put up the extra funding and $590 million of the total, while those who use its transit services would pay nothing more.

Murphy wants to increase public education spending by $519 million, unsurprising since he’s counting on public employee unions to help ensure his reelection next year. All but $50 million of that, which would extend the tuition-free community college program for low-income students to the first two years at four-year state colleges, would go to K-12 and preschool education.

New Jersey residents still pay the highest property taxes in the nation, so the governor claimed that more state spending on education was somehow “property tax relief.” In other words, government is determined to tax more and spend it on schools, and if the state doesn’t do it, local districts surely would by raising property taxes. But the state’s average residential property tax has kept rising during Murphy’s tenure and last year hit $8,953.

Read the full editorial here.