Clock ticking toward potential shutdown of NJ government as budget talks continue

Legislators argue raising taxes isn't enough to 'fix the problem'

David Madden
June 15, 2018 - 9:39 am
Governor Phil Murphy delivers his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Address in Trenton on March 13, 2018.

OIT/Governor's Office via Flickr


TRENTON N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Two weeks and counting until a potential government shutdown in New Jersey, as Governor Phil Murphy and legislative leaders try to hammer out a new budget.
The governor has told his staff to draw up a contingency plan in the event there's no deal by the end of the month, while insisting there's time to agree on how to fund his $37.4 billion spending plan.
Murphy wants a millionaires tax and a return to a 7% sales tax. State Senate President Steve Sweeney says those options will get nowhere with him.
"I say taxes are the last resort and I'm sincere about that," Sweeney told KYW Newsradio. "So before we raise a bunch of taxes, we have structural problems that we have to fix in New Jersey, because you can't raise taxes enough to fix the problem."
He's suggested an increase in the corporate business tax while Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin is pushing a tax amnesty program to help raise additional revenue.
Those are one shot deals Murphy told reporters in Trenton he won't accept.
"For a generation, Trenton has shortchanged permanent priorities by resorting to gimmicks and short term fixes," the governor said. "A stronger, fairer New Jersey starts with changing the way Trenton does business."
Late Friday, Sweeney announced that legislators plan to pass their own version of the budget next week. But negotiations with the governor's office continue.