NJ Politics Digest: State Gears Up For New Spending Proposals

New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio in 2017.
New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio in 2017. Joan Eddis-Koch/Flickr

Gov. Phil Murphy will give his first State of the State speech today, and it’s likely the governor will propose several new programs and spending. And it’s likely those proposals will require new taxes.

Despite the fact that residents complain of the state’s crushing tax burden, Murphy has made no secret of his desire to continue pursuing an increase in the state sales tax and especially an increase in taxes on the state’s wealthiest.

On Monday, Murphy got some well-timed aid from his State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. The Treasury Department chose the day before Murphy gave his speech to announce that state revenue collections have fallen below expectations so far this fiscal year, according to NJ.com.

Most of that shortfall comes from a slowdown in state income tax collections, which have fallen 6.5 percent below last year’s collections instead of growing by 5.4 percent as Murphy had predicted.
Sales tax revenue is also growing much slower than the governor predicted, according to the report. 

Murphy came into office touting a progressive agenda and contending that no matter how much residents complain about taxes, they wouldn’t mind paying more if they feel they are getting their money’s worth in state services.

Last year, the governor’s budget called for more than $1.5 billion in new tax revenue. This year, both Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have said they will not support new taxes.

Quote of the Day: “Over the last year, major legislation that has been promised or passed has been delayed or not introduced once we have a governor that will sign it,” — Marcia Marley, president of BlueWaveNJ, on her disappointment that Gov. Phil Murphy hasn’t significantly advanced his progressive agenda during his first year in office.

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NJ Politics Digest: State Gears Up For New Spending Proposals