New Jersey’s highest-ranking state lawmaker said Governor Phil Murphy’s proposed millionaire’s tax won’t happen, a sign of the deep divide among his fellow Democrats on the issue less than two months before the fiscal 2020 budget deadline.
Murphy’s $38.6 billion spending plan, for the fiscal year that starts July 1, counts on more taxes from those with incomes exceeding $1 million. He lost that fight last year, settling for higher rates on those earning $5 million or more to make the budget deadline and avert a government shutdown.
Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat from West Deptford, said a higher tax for any income level has no shot of passing this year.
“It’s a gimmick,” Sweeney said by telephone. Instead, he wants more revenue from the biggest corporations, whose rate dropped to 21 percent from 35 percent under President Donald Trump. “These were the people who won the windfall.”
A temporary higher New Jersey corporate tax rate is in effect this fiscal year and for the next three under a deal struck by Murphy and lawmakers.
Murphy, who took office in January 2018, is seeking about $447 million by boosting the tax rate on incomes over $1 million to 10.75 percent from 8.97 percent. He wants the wealthy to pay more to support what he calls a “stronger, fairer” economy, with relief for homeowners in the U.S. state with the highest residential property taxes. The average bill last year was $8,767, according to the state Department of Community Affairs.
Murphy spokesman Dan Bryan said the governor would talk to reporters later this afternoon.
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