From the Star Ledger:
Democrats who control the state Legislature on Monday announced they’ll introduce a $36.2 billion budget that would raise taxes on New Jersey’s very largest corporations to the highest level of any state.
They also vowed to move forward with the spending plan even though Gov. Phil Murphy said he’d veto it earlier in the day.
The intensified hostility between the governor and state Legislature pushes New Jersey closer to the possibility of a second state government shutdown in two years. A balanced budget needs to be signed by June 30.
The “two houses are unified behind a budget,” state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said at an afternoon news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton. He assailed Murphy for being unwilling to compromise and described a recent meeting with the governor as a take-it-or-leave scenario.
“I was told, ‘It’s my budget. I like my budget. The things I’ll cut, I already cut. The things on the cutting room floor are on the cutting room floor. Pass my budget.’ That’s almost verbatim,” Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said.
State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, who has largely avoided the public spotlight in recent months when it came to openly discussing the budget, confirmed the Legislature is at a deadlock with the new administration.
The Legislature’s plan does not include Murphy’s call for a nearly 3 percentage point increase on personal income over $1 million and a small increase in the sales tax.
Instead, it creates two new tiers for the Corporation Business Tax, levying the top current rate, 9 percent, on businesses with net income between $100,000 and $1 million, and then 11.5 percent on businesses with $1 million to $25 million, and 13 percent on businesses with income higher than $25 million. The surcharges would expire after two years.
The legislators project their new business tax proposal will generate $805 million for New Jersey, while Murphy’s two largest revenue raisers — the millionaires tax and the sales tax increase — are expected to raise more than $1.3 billion.
“We are being smart about how we raise taxes and by how much,” Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, said in a statement announcing details of the spending plan.
He said the added taxes for corporations “making more than $1 million a year in New Jersey will be borne mostly by multinational corporations headquartered out of state and by foreign and out-of-state investors.”