TRENTON (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy presented his first budget on Tuesday for $37.4 billion, turning sharply from the previous administration with proposals to hike taxes on millionaires, close loopholes for hedge funds and big businesses, legalize recreational marijuana and phase in free community college.
Murphy, a Democrat who took office in January after eight contentious years of Republican Governor Chris Christie, also proposed gradually lifting the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, boosting education and pre-kindergarten aid, increasing general fund money for the state’s beleaguered NJ Transit system and raising the earned income tax credit for low-income working families.
State - Sales - Tax - Rate - Percent
And he said the state should raise the sales tax rate back to 7 percent, where it was before Christie and the state’s Democrat-led legislature struck a 2016 deal to lower that rate in exchange for higher gasoline taxes.
The revenue raisers for the fiscal 2019 budget, which begins July 1, will fund initiatives Murphy needs to define his new governorship and leave the state with a $743 million surplus, instead of a $161 million deficit.
Windfall - State - Morass - Employee - Retirement
Despite the would-be windfall, the state is still snared in a fiscal morass, including an employee retirement system that is only about...
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