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Murphy proposes tax hikes, increased education funding in first budget address

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Gov. Phil Murphy delivers his fiscal year 2019 budget address.
Gov. Phil Murphy delivers his fiscal year 2019 budget address. - ()

Gov. Phil Murphy called for raising taxes and closing tax loopholes in his first budget address today, proposals that raised the ire of state Republicans.

In what he called “a realistic and responsible budget that makes sense and is fair for all New Jerseyans,” Murphy unveiled a $34.7 billion budget, which includes a projected surplus of $742 million.

The proposed budget raise the state sales tax to 7 percent from 6.625 percent, and Murphy predicted the state could see a $765 million boost from his proposed 10.75 percent millionaires tax. Other proposals include an estimated $60 million in additional excise and sales tax revenue to be collected from the sale of legalized marijuana. The money would be used to help war veterans in the state.

“Less than 1 percent of the budget will rely on nonrecurring revenues. Everything in this budget will make New Jersey a good value than other states,” he said.

Murphy also vowed that school districts will get $283 million in new funding and reallocation of funds, with $57 million for districts seeking to expand their pre-K programs. The governor also reiterated his intent to make community colleges tuition free.

“Education funding is something that the previous administration failed to address for over 10 years,” he said.

He also promised a $3.2 billion contribution to the state’s badly underfunded pension plan, raising the cap on property tax deductions to 15 percent and investing more in in New Jersey Transit. The sales tax will also hit services such as Uber and Airbnb, and targets online sales in which the seller is not based in New Jersey. Another controversial proposal he made is to reinvest tax incentives to new companies to those that already exist in the state.


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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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