Budget Crisis: Prieto leans away from Sweeney on tax for those making over $500,000; prefers ‘true millionaires’ tax’

TRENTON – Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), Secaucus, this afternoon emerged from a backroom session with Senate Democrats a day after Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) announced his plan to close a state budget gap.

Sweeney’s proposal toward raising $1.569 billion includes a 10.25% tax on those making between $500,000 and $1 million.

The speaker confessed to some discomfort with taxing those making $500,000 as he works to align the two houses on one budget document by the end of the month.

“We’re looking at those numbers and we would like it to be a true millionaires’ tax,” said Prieto, indicating his preference for a tax only on those making over $1 million annually and specifying his sensitivity to business owners.

Sweeney’s plan to plug the state’s budget gap also includes a “true millionares’ tax.” From the Senate Majority Office:


  • A 10.75% tax on millionaires                                                              = $565 million
  • A 10.25% tax on those earning $500k – $1 million                             = $155 million

Prieto said he anticipated unveiling his own budget specifics by early next week, including his own priorities, which he says will include a full public pension payment.

“We had good discussions with them today,” he said of Senate Democrats, with whom he continues to negotiate. “Everything’s on the table. The State of New Jersey has a revenue problem. We have to fund our budget. We have to start thinking about the Transportation Trust Fund [TTF].”