New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is still trying to tax his way out of a huge budget hole to avoid upsetting the public unions who are his biggest supporters. It’s up to his fellow Democrats to tell him no again.
In Tuesday’s budget message, Murphy will propose lowering the income threshold for the state’s top income tax rate of 10.75 percent to kick in from $5 million to $1 million. The rate now hits just 1,760 taxpayers; the gov’s plan would boost it to some 39,000.
Murphy wants new cash to pay for even more government spending, which grew 8 percent last year; his hike adds an estimated $447 million. And he says it’s still needed, though he’ll claim to have found $1 billion in spending cuts.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, both Democrats, refuse to consider new taxes without significant spending reforms, including to health and pension benefits for government employees.
Read the full editorial here.