NJ government shutdown averted hours before deadline

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

It was a close call at the state Capitol as New Jersey lawmakers approved a budget just hours before the deadline Saturday.

After days of sometimes contentious negotiations between Gov. Phil Murphy and his fellow Democrats who control the Legislature, a deal was reached.

Today, lawmakers at the state house are finalizing the budget with an official vote.

"This is not a win for any of us individually. This is a win for the middle class and working families and for those who look up and dream to be in the middle class all across New Jersey," says Gov. Murphy.

The budget deal includes a so-called millionaires tax that raises taxes on income exceeding $5 million, from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent. And it charges corporations with a 2.5 percent surtax in 2018 and 2019. In 2020 and 2021, they will get a 1.5 percent hike each year.

The budget deal also averts a sales tax hike, as long as the "right balance" can be attained in generating revenues.

Finally, it restores $20 million in aid for community college, for a total investment in the coming year of $25 million.

There are still some small details left to be finalized. There will likely be a range of taxes on services like Airbnb and Uber.

The school funding formula also looks like it will change, with some districts deemed to be overfunded losing some state aid.

State Republicans have objected to the level of spending. The state GOP chair released a statement saying, “This was an ugly process that resulted in a budget plan that will tax New Jersey into the dark ages.”

However, with the Legislature fully controlled by Democrats, Gov. Phil Murphy's first state budget is in the books.

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