Assembly Speaker Coughlin wants to use billions in surplus for ‘biggest tax relief plan’ in NJ history

Lawmakers in Trenton have just over a month to decide what to do with billions in unexpected revenue.
New Jersey’s politicians have a variety of ideas on how to spend the windfall of money. Democratic Speaker Craig Coughlin has said he wants “the biggest tax relief plan in the history of the state." But until Friday he had offered up few details.
The Assembly speaker spoke exclusively with News 12 New Jersey to explain his ideas.
“I’m working together with legislative leaders in my house, with the [state] Senate and of course with the governor,” Coughlin said.
Following a tour of a food bank in Paterson, the speaker said he wants to use a significant portion of the $12 billion surplus to bring rebate checks to a minimum of 1.8 million homeowners and renters.
"I think we're going to build on the ANCHOR program from the governor and it will be larger than that, significantly,” Coughlin said.
This means a starting point of $700 to $1,150 for homeowners and at least $250 for renters - who are included in Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal for the first time.
On News 12’s “Ask Gov. Murphy” program, the governor said he's on board with Coughlin’s plan. The speaker is also open to including ideas like direct cash relief for surging gas prices and inflation.
"All of those things will be taken into consideration to come up with the final product which will address what I think what I know people of the state of New Jersey will be greatly benefitted by,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin says his goal is to make it all part of the state budget, which has to be done by midnight of June 30.
Treasury officials say revenue projections are $7.8 billion higher than they calculated, as recently as early March.