NJ Governor News – Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat, unveiled a $53.1 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which is about 5% more than the spending plan he signed for the current year. The budget includes billions more for public pensions, transportation, and other projects, as well as more money for schools and a renewed program for property tax rebates.
Governor Phil Murphy, who was elected governor for a second term in 2021, presented the budget as a helping hand for locals dealing with increased costs and the effects of COVID-19.
The budget states that by securing your position in the New Jersey of today, you will be better able to find your place in the New Jersey of tomorrow. Your wage hasn’t increased but you’ve had to pay more for everything from groceries to gas, the speaker continued.
The Governor made his announcement during a speech in the Assembly chamber of the Democratic-controlled Legislature, resuming an annual practice that had been put on hold at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak. The constitutionally mandated date for passing a balanced budget in New Jersey is June 30.
In order to fulfill commitments he made during his first bid for governor, Murphy has suggested paying the full amount due to the state’s public pension fund for a third year in a row. With a $250 million increase from the previous year, that would be roughly $7 billion. The plan would increase financing by nearly 8% to $10.75 billion for K–12 education using a formula approved by the state Supreme Court. Also, the governor intends to maintain flat New Jersey Transit fares and allocate nearly $1 billion (an increase of $110 million over the previous year) for Universal Pre-K.
In an effort to position the state as more affordable, the governor also plans to extend a program that provides property tax rebates for a second year. The $2 billion scheme guarantees a $1,500 rebate check to families earning up to $150,000. $1,000 in rebates are given to those making between $150,000 and $250,000. Renters who earn up to $150,000 will continue to receive $450 in assistance from last year. An estimated 1.5 million households would benefit from the initiative.
With an annual average of roughly $9,500, New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the country.
Read More: Are Stimulus Checks Taxable?
Republicans, who make up the minority in the legislature but gained confidence after gaining seven seats in 2021, denounced the idea and urged the administration to lower taxes.
Senate Republican Steve Oroho stated that Governor Murphy has no justification for continuing to ignore tax relief that would significantly help families and businesses struggling with inflation when the state is awash with cash.
Before the governor signs Murphy’s proposal into law, it must first pass the Legislature, which has the power to change it. All 120 state legislators are up for election this November.