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Gov. Murphy signs $32.7B budget taxing millionaires, businesses

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a $32.7 billion budget that hikes taxes on the wealthy and businesses and authorizes $4.5 billion in new debt he says is necessary to keep state finances solvent.

News 12 Staff

Sep 30, 2020, 12:41 AM

Updated 1,357 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a $32.7 billion budget that hikes taxes on the wealthy and businesses and authorizes $4.5 billion in new debt he says is necessary to keep state finances solvent.
The governor got the budget approved after making a deal that united Democrats, despite opposition from Republican lawmakers.
In addition to the millionaire’s tax, the budget also raises taxes on corporations in the state. It sends billions of dollars to the state’s school districts, millions to transit, makes a nearly $5 billion public pension payment and sets aside more than $2 billion in a rainy-day fund. But the Legislature had eliminated Murphy’s request for higher gun fees and increased taxes on boat purchases. It also eliminated the “baby bonds” plan that would have purchased a $1,000 savings bond for every child born in the state.
Despite these cuts, the governor said he was pleased with the final product.
“A budget is a statement of values. A budget is not a document for today alone, and this budget is a statement of the values that will guide us along the path of restart and recovery,” Murphy said. “At every step along this path, this budget will be there for the people of New Jersey.”
Not everyone was happy about the governor’s budget.
A handful of immigration advocates showed up in Trenton before the bill signing to ask for a COVID-19 relief bill for undocumented immigrants.
Republicans have also called out $200 million worth of last minute add-ons to the budget as “pork” and “pet projects.” Some of those add-ons restore funding for community colleges and substance abuse programs.
The budget and the new taxes go into effect Oct. 1. The money raised by the millionaire’s tax will mostly go into refunds of up to $500 for New Jersey families. Those checks will go out next summer, right before the 2021 gubernatorial election.
Overall, the fiscal 2021 budget is 4% higher than the previous year’s spending plan.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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