Murphy pushes for expansion of millionaires tax by promoting incentives for middle class

By KYW Newsradio 1060
TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is looking to give some people in his state tax relief — by asking others to foot the bill. 

But the move could further complicate negotiations, with less than a month to go before the budget deadline.

Murphy's plan would give nearly half the state's residents a refundable credit of $125 when they file their taxes next spring.

It's part of his proposal to put an extra tax on the 37,000 people who make at least $1 million a year.

"The millionaires tax is the only way we can return $250 million in direct property tax relief to roughly 2 million middle-class homeowners and renters," Murphy said. "This is simply asking the wealthiest among us to help us level the playing field. Pay a little bit more.

"Our middle class deserves tax fairness," he continued. "They need direct property tax relief more than ever, and the millionaires tax is the way to truly deliver for them."

The governor has received pushback from fellow Democrats on the plan. 

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said the millionaires tax has no chance in the Legislature.

"He's just looking at a gimmick, and it's a one-time gimmick," said Sweeney. "It's not acceptable. The governor needs to get realistic and start working with us on a budget."

Murphy, however, said he is counting on the hundreds of millions of dollars the tax would generate for the state.

"It's how we continue to ramp up school funding to put a lid on property taxes," he added. "It's how we free up other resources to continue investing in roads and bridges and mass transit to take the burden off property taxpayers."

There is currently a 10.75 percent tax on people in the state who make more than $5 million a year.

Sweeney his Path to Progress fiscal plan would provides a better way to help New Jersey residents in a more responsible way.

"We have a plan that can save $3 billion, and the governor's ignoring it," added Sweeney, who said the program would, in part, fix "the pension system that's going to go bankrupt," and have "everyone go to a gold level health care plan."