Taxes. Whatever the question, Governor Phil Murphy’s answer is taxes.
New Jersey’s second-year governor is back with his second budget proposal and it’s all about the benjamins, AGAIN.
Murphy has proposed a radical budget to fund the state through the 2020 fiscal year that will hurt the hardworking men and women of the state with a whopping $447 million in tax hikes. New Jersey lawmakers are currently negotiating a budget to fund the state beginning on July 1.
Gov. Murphy presented a budget of $38.6 billion, a 3 percent increase in spending from the previous year. This disparity would allegedly be funded through the “Millionaire’s Tax”. This tax would hike New Jersey’s top marginal income tax rate to 10.75 percent, up from 8.97 percent for income over $1 million. This tax would cost taxpayers an estimated $447 million.
Remember, just last year Murphy pushed through a $1 billion-plus tax hike. Which included taxes on businesses, ride-sharing, rental homes, and “high-earners”, which sounds like the same thing he wants to do this year. If you want new ideas, you’ve come to the wrong place. That, despite the fact current policies are ruining New Jersey.
The Garden State has been seeing residents fleeing in record numbers, in part due to the radical tax structure in the state. People “vote with their feet”, and 2018 saw New Jersey become the No. 1 state to move away from in 2018.
While calling for large tax increases, the budget also aimed to remove $33 million from the New Jersey Fireman’s Association fund. This fund provides financial assistance to firefighters, including volunteers, to fund burial services, retirement homes, and in-home medical care. The proposal called for moving the $33 million from the firefighter fund to the state’s general fund as revenue. It was only amid public backlash that Gov. Murphy announced he would not carry out the transfer of money from the fund.
In an attempt to tax away your Second Amendment rights, Gov. Murphy has also proposed aggressive fee hikes on firearms. Under current New Jersey law, a firearm permit is $2, a firearm identification card is $2, and a permit to carry a gun is $20. Under Gov. Murphy’s budget proposal, a firearm permit would cost $50, a firearm identification would cost $100, and a permit to carry would cost $400.
Lastly, Gov. Murphy’s budget calls for “increasing fees on opioid drug distributors and manufacturers to help support our fight against the opioid epidemic”. Make no mistake about it; this is a tax increase that will lead to higher healthcare costs for patients, pharmacies, caregivers, and businesses. This increased fee does not take in account those with a legitimate need for opioids. Opioids allow patients dealing with cancer, chronic pain to live pain-free lives. Imposing punitive fees will not deter the demand of opioids. These fees don’t address the over-prescription of opioids and the lack of education that contribute to the epidemic.
Murphy’s Law states: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”, and the New Jersey FY2020 budget proposal is further proof of that.