Budget Contains Tax Breaks, College Aid & Big Pension Payment
Following the approval of both houses of the New Jersey Legislature last week, Governor Phil Murphy signed the state’s Fiscal 2022 Budget of $46.4 billion into law this morning. The signing took place in Woodbridge at the Ross Street School.
The budget increases spending to record levels for the coming year. It was accomplished using the assistance of a $10 billion surplus. That in itself seems amazing, but given New Jersey’s fast recovery from the pandemic, maybe it’s not so unrealistic.
New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr. is applauding the Governor and Democratic Legislators for investing in New Jersey’s working families with this State Budget, hailing the inclusion of expanded, free public college, middle class tax relief and an historic pension payment as major wins for the state.
Chairman Jones, Jr. stated, “I applaud Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and all Democrats in our state legislature for adopting this historic budget that will make critical investments in working families throughout our state.
From expanding the Garden State Guarantee program to offer four years of tuition free college to eligible students for the first time, to providing more direct property tax relief to the middle class than we have seen in decades, to making a massive $6.9 billion payment to strengthen the pension system that so many working families in our state rely on for financial and retirement security and so much more, this is a budget that funds many of our greatest needs and it will have a significant, positive impact on New Jerseyans for years to come.
At this critical moment in time when our state is still addressing the pandemic and beginning our recovery, these investments will undoubtedly support the residents who have been on the front lines of COVID-19 working hard to keep our state afloat. It means more funding for our public schools to ensure that they can safely, fully reopen in September; more support for small businesses that desperately need it so they can expand their workforce and create more opportunities; more assistance for hardworking middle-class taxpayers with a new $500 rebate program and expansion of the Homestead Rebate program; and much-needed relief for lower income residents still struggling with an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, additional funding for anti-hunger efforts and much more.
This is a state budget we can be immensely proud of and I once again thank Governor Murphy and our Democratic legislators for taking the immense challenges we face head on and delivering for the people of New Jersey.”
State tax revenues have reached new levels despite the past year’s pandemic which has allowed the Administration to lower taxes for low-and-middle residents, and senior citizens. The pension fund contribution is a record $6.9 billion. There are new tax deductions for college savings, student tuition and loans. The State Budget also has a minor boost for property tax relief. More than 760,000 New Jersey families will be receiving tax rebates of up to $500.
During the budget signing the Governor stated, “After a year in which the pandemic disrupted practically every facet of our lives, a year we focused everyday on saving lives — even though we have lost, it’s unfathomable, over 26,000 members of our New Jersey family, a year in which so many in our state were knocked down but not out, New Jersey is now standing before the dawn of the new post-COVID day that is breaking. And this is the budget that will see to it that this day is better than yesterday.”
Not unexpectedly, Republican lawmakers were critical of the amount of spending in the newly signed budget. They claim it puts New Jersey on a path to big tax increases or drastic program cuts in the next year or two.