NJ Politics Digest: More Taxes For New Jersey? Murphy Won’t Rule It Out

The New Jersey state house.

The New Jersey state house. File photo

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy refused to rule out a tax increase as he makes to implement his progressive agenda.

Even though the state is among the top in the nation for overall tax burden and outward migration, Murphy says New Jersey hasn’t done enough to achieve his goal of “tax fairness,” according to a report in Politico.

Murphy, who was stymied by blowback from his own party for his plan earlier this year to raise taxes by $1.7 billion, said Wednesday he would leave “everything…on the table,” when it came to raising taxes in coming budget plans, according to Politico.

Murphy said he was working to ensure tax fairness for the state’s middle class as well as “the working poor and those in poverty who dream to get into the working class.”

But members of Murphy’s own party have said that when speaking of the state’s middle class, Murphy often seems to be referring to those in public unions rather than the large majority of state residents who routinely list high taxes as among the greatest challenges facing the state.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have both pushed back against Murphy’s efforts to raise taxes on high wage earners, saying the state should instead be examining ways to cut spending. Coughlin has said he would not support any future tax increases.

Murphy said that while he’d “like to deliver tax relief to certain communities in our state,” he didn’t seem to be holding out much hope that the state’s middle class could expect to see their taxes reduced, Politico reported.

Murphy has often said that state residents won’t mind paying even more in taxes if they feel they are getting their money’s worth in state services.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t understand that level of dysfunction that takes six, seven months for it to close,” — Democratic State Sen. Teresa Ruiz, on why it the Murphy administration didn’t take action against a highly placed state employee accused of rape. The official, Albert J. Alvarez, didn’t resign his highly paid state position until the Wall Street Journal started pursuing the story. Alvarez has said he is innocent of the allegations.

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NJ Politics Digest: More Taxes For New Jersey? Murphy Won’t Rule It Out