NJ governor proposes tax hikes, legal marijuana in first budget

Republican leaders say the focus should be on reducing property taxes

While Mr. Christie was still in office, many Democrats, including Mr. Sweeney, supported Mr. Murphy's proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy.

Murphy, a Democrat, also said he wants to increase the state's contributions to public education by about 8 percent, or $1 billion.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that the state will triple spending on New Jersey Transit and infrastructure.

School aid would account for almost $15 billion in state spending, including the payment into the teachers' pension fund.

Republican lawmakers their analysis shows a budget surplus could be as high as $1.5 billion.

Republicans say tax hike might encourage more residents and companies to move elsewhere.

Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood) said that, between the governor pursuing a millionaires tax and Sweeney's plan to increase the corporate tax, the state is going to deter people and businesses from moving in. If Murphy's sales tax increase goes through, that would be 32 percent.

Murphy's budget also calls for sales tax to increase from 6.625 percent to 7 percent and include ride-sharing services and accommodations like Airbnb.

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Municipal Market Analytics analyst Lisa Washburn said Murphy is facing political resistance to the millionaire's tax.

Murphy's proposes contributing $3.2 billion toward the state's pension system, which now receives funding from New Jersey Lottery revenues under legislation signed by Christie past year.

The budget includes more spending on schools.

Murphy wants to roll the cut back to 7 percent.

That agreement led to higher gas taxes for transportation funding, but also lowered the sales tax.

But if that happens, it'll get taxed: a 25 percent excise tax, plus the sales tax. Taxing carried interest, according to the budget, will generate $100 million, according to the administration.

Murphy wants to take a first step toward meeting his campaign goal of tuition-free community college by spending $50 million on the program, which would cover almost 15,000 students from families with incomes below $45,000.

The income tax proposal may face resistance even from his own party because of concerns that many New Jersey residents will be hit by the federal tax changes that cap deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000. The pension funding, which is up 14% from the current 2018 budget, would still put New Jersey only at a 60% actuarially funded level and on pace to be fully funded in 2023.

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