3 days until potential shutdown as budget battle continues

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

New Jersey’s lawmakers have just three days to come to an agreement on a state budget or face the second government shutdown in as many years.

Gov. Phil Murphy and the state’s Democratic-led Legislature can’t come to an agreement on the best way to fund the $30 billion-plus budget.

Murphy told Newark residents Wednesday that the budget the Legislature wants to pass will mortgage the future of city residents. He reiterated that he wants to see a millionaire’s tax implemented in the budget.

“One side wants to make a historic investment in the middle class, urban communities, working families and to do it in a way which resets tax fairness and asks the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share and to close corporate loopholes and to undo gimmicks,” Murphy said. “The other side is going to stand either on behalf of cutting $800-plus million of desperately needed investments or standing to allow the state to shut down because they're protecting millionaires. I'll take my side of that any day of the week."

Senate President Steve Sweeney offered a counterproposal to the governor, which included extending a business tax hike from two years to four years, raising taxes of currently untaxed rental properties and boosting real estate transfer fees on properties over a million dollars.

Sweeney says that he isn’t comfortable with the governor’s other proposals. He says that he doesn’t want to raise the sales tax again and does not want a millionaire’s tax.

“We want to work with the administration, but it's time to fix New Jersey. Honestly, all these taxes really, really bother the hell out of me, because what we're not talking about is fixing New Jersey,” Sweeney said.

Both sides were reportedly supposed to meet Wednesday to discuss the matter, but that meeting was canceled.

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