Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget provides almost nothing for middle class homeowners, zero direct property tax relief for most people and continues the governor’s alarming desire to increase state spending,” said Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Morris).
The governor’s budget increases spending to a state record $48.8 billion – an increase of 11 percent over the current fiscal year and a nearly 30 percent increase since Murphy took office three years ago.
“It is obvious this is an election year budget to help the governor get re-elected, but it is more sinister than that,” says DeCroce. “The budget is built on false revenue projections from last year that precipitated billions of dollars of borrowing that state taxpayers will be paying off for decades.”
DeCroce added that the long-term costs of new programs that the governor included in his re-election budget will require huge tax increases in coming years. “The only way the state can afford to maintain the governor’s give-away programs in the next two or three years is hiking taxes and fees,” said DeCroce.
Despite the governor’s record level of spending, virtually nothing in the budget will reduce the onerous property tax burden that plagues Jersey homeowners, said DeCroce.
“Last year the average state property tax bill reached $9,000. That figure will not go down with this budget and is all but guaranteed to go up in the coming years,” said DeCroce
The Assemblywoman questioned much of the governor’s new spending proposal such as
· $200 million for offshore wind programs;
· $86.1 million to supplement the state’s demand for minimum wage increases;
· Free college tuition, and;
· $580,000 for the new Office of Climate Change Action and the Green Economy
“The private sector is well equipped to develop offshore wind turbines and will reap the profits from it. The state does not need to put taxpayer money at risk so we can have windmills off our coast,” said DeCroce.
The assemblywoman added that the college tuition programs will benefit a targeted income group at the expense of middle-class families who are struggling to afford college, a home and the state’s enormous property tax burden.
“Many of the people in my district are scrimping and saving to afford college for their children; now they are expected to pay for college for others. That’s not fair and it’s not a sustainable program without significant tax hikes in the near future,” said DeCroce.
The assemblywoman noted that small businesses have been devastated by the governor’s economic lockdowns and the budget gives little help to those business owners who are struggling to hang on to their investments.