Dispute over property tax cuts for seniors threatens to derail state budget

New Jersey lawmakers have until midnight on June 30 to approve a state budget or the state government will be shut down.

Matt Trapani

Jun 8, 2023, 9:35 PM

Updated 369 days ago

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New Jersey lawmakers have until midnight on June 30 to approve a state budget or the state government will be shut down.
The process is in danger of coming to a halt due to a dispute between Gov. Phil Murphy and top Democratic lawmakers over a plan to cut property taxes for senior citizens.
State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin introduced the plan to cut property taxes in half for everyone over the age of 65 in New Jersey. He is calling the proposal STAY NJ, because he does not want seniors to leave for lower-tax states such as South Carolina and Florida.
But the governor is dead set against the proposal and says he will shut the state down before he agrees to it.
Negotiations continue and Coughlin says that he will get property tax relief for seniors.
“[Gov. Murphy] and I have a long history of getting things done for the people of New Jersey. And I suspect we are going to get this done, too,” the speaker says. “I am confident that we will. And I think there is universal support here, at every level of government. I saw mayors down there who are preparing to testify that this is something that is a good idea.”
Ocean Grove resident Paul Zapka tells News 12 New Jersey that he supports Coughlin’s plan.
The 75-year-old says that he does not want to leave New Jersey. But he says that his wife has lymphoma and that he is having trouble making ends meet. He is urging the governor to get on board with STAY NJ.
Coughlin’s plan would play out in January of 2025 - just as the next gubernatorial race is getting started. Murphy will be out of that race since he has reached his term limit.
Coughlin says that he is only thinking of the election this November, when he and the rest of the Legislature will be on the ballot.


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