Gov. Phil Murphy started the month speaking a little too frankly for a politician about his views on taxes, spending and government.
He told business leaders at an event at Rowan University in Glassboro, “If you’re a one-issue voter and tax rate is your issue, either a family or a business, if that’s the only basis upon which you’re going to make a decision, we’re probably not your state.”
Political foes jumped on the comment, and even some Murphy supporters said it came too close to telling people unhappy with New Jersey’s high taxes that if they don’t like them, maybe they should leave.
Last week, the nonpartisan National Federation of Independent Business responded strongly. Laurie Ehlbeck, NFIB’s New Jersey director, said, “Taxes are one of the top concerns of the nearly 900,000 small businesses in the state, and it’s unbelievable that the governor would imply with his words if that’s so, New Jersey is probably not their state. He is implying they are unwelcome if they don’t want to pay more — that is ludicrous.”
Businesses and residents already are paying more under Murphy. He and legislative leaders agreed to raise the business income tax 28% to the second-highest rate in the nation. They also raised income taxes for those making more than $5 million a year.
Read the full editorial here.