New Jersey’s New Budget: What it Includes and What it Does Not

On Sunday, June 30, Governor Phil Murphy signed a $38.7 billion New Jersey budget averting a government shutdown right before the Independence Day holiday. Murphy claims the new budget “is another down payment on a commitment to the middle class” but “undeniably falls short in some ways”.
Here are some of the main budget items you may be concerned with:

INCLUDES

  • The NJ Transit will receive a $457.5 million subsidy from the state, with $75 million in new dollars.
  • A historic $3.8 billion to the public-worker pension system
  • $283 million in spend on the popular Homestead property tax credit program
  • $18 million more into the Senior Freeze program
  • Doubles the veterans’ income tax exemption from $3,000 to $6,000
  • $401 million added to a “rainy day fund” for emergencies or a recession
  • Froze up to $235 million in other spending. Murphy mentioned that the state Treasury Department will decide how to release funds on hold based on savings recognized, tax collections or if taxes are raised in the future.
  • The final budget projects ending with a $1.3 billion surplus.

DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Gov. Murphy used his constitutional authority to eliminate $48.5 million in new spending of the $300 million added by lawmakers.
  • Budget will not increase taxes on people with more than $1 million in yearly income.  This was hoped to drum up more than a half a billion dollars in new revenue.
  • Will not raise fees for opioid manufacturers.
  • Will not raise fees for gun buyers.
  • Will not raise fees for bear hunters.
  • Will not raise fees for businesses that do not provide employees with health benefits.
  • Will not include a “corporate responsibility fee” that would have required companies with more than 50 workers to pay $150 for each worker on Medicaid.
  • Grow New Jersey corporate tax breaks expired with no replacement.

Sax will continue to keep you well-informed of new details as they emerge. Should you have any questions with regards to the new NJ state budget, feel free to reach out to a Sax advisor at (973) 472-6250 or visit www.saxllp.com.