Following through on his major campaign promises of last year, Gov. Phil Murphy’s first state budget ramps up spending on public education, mass transit, property-tax relief, and public-worker pensions, among other key areas. It also proposes $1.7 billion in tax increases, much of those also talked about in the campaign, bringing New Jersey’s budget to a record $37.4 billion.
The tax increases include a higher income-tax rate for millionaires that was widely expected to be part of his budget proposal. But Murphy also announced a hike in the general sales tax that his Republican opponent had warned was looming, restoring the rate back to what it was a few years ago, before former Gov. Chris Christie negotiated it down to 6.625 percent. Also due to be taxed are legalized marijuana sales and so-called sharing-economy services like Uber car rides. In addition, Murphy is seeking changes to the corporate tax code that were detailed for the first time yesterday.
“Everything in this budget is built around restoring New Jersey as the ‘good value for money’ state we had been for decades,” Murphy said during a nearly hourlong budget message held inside the State House.