Murphy Explains His Rejection of Sweeney’s Mega Millionaire’s Tax

TRENTON – Following collapsed budget talks with legislative leadership this afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy alighted at a podium here in his temporary offices, and dismissed the legislative leaders’ offer of a mega millionaire’s tax as insufficient.

The Governor appeared with Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver and Treasurer Liz Muoio.

Sweeney and Coughlin expressed disappointment over not being able to get the Governor’s support for a millionaire’s tax that would set the threshold at $5 million. Murphy had wanted a millionaire’s tax on those earning incoming $1 million and up. The legislative leaders said they couldn’t get Murphy to even respond with a counter offer.

“There was a glimmer of hope,” Murphy said.

But the lawmakers only offer a 9.95 tax rate on income earners over $5 million, which would raise $160 million.

“That’s 20 percent of what a true millionaire’s tax would raise,” Murphy said.

Not enough.

“I am willing to compromise. What I won’t compromise on is the need for a real, sustainable solution, and this remains our sticking point,” Murphy said, who chided the legislative lawmakers for protecting 21,000 millionaires in this state.

Lawmakers said Murphy did not respond with a counter offer to their $5 millionaire’s tax.

“That’s just not true, and they know that,” the Governor said. “When you come back with a symbolic offer just to check the box, I have no time for that. They want us to lance the boil, break the fever.”

He slapped down the seasonal beach rental tax. Didn’t like the realty transfer fees, he said. He was willing to look again at the implications of seven percent sales tax as long as the lawmakers backed a credible millionaire’s tax, but “It did not meet the test.”

“We’re standing for the nine million people in this state,” Murphy added.

The Governor described himself as very disappointed.

Oliver was irritated with her former colleagues.

“I have never seen the level of obstructionism [on display now],” she said. “They do not want to work with Governor Murphy on this. On every single element Governor Murphy has moved.”

Disgusted, Oliver said lawmakers need to go back to their districts to reexamine the median incomes there.

“Think about obstructing a budget over an issue of taxing wealthy people in this state,” said the former speaker.

“As a former speaker, who for four consecutive years [led the budget process on the assembly side] I had a lot of added value in this process,” Oliver said. “This is not my first rodeo.”

“We will not wake up tomorrow less reasonable or less resolute than today,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he had cabinet meetings scheduled for the rest of the day.


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3 responses to “Murphy Explains His Rejection of Sweeney’s Mega Millionaire’s Tax”

  1. ” I want a millionaires tax!” Ok ,you have it. “NO!!! That is not good enough,I want more! I want the whole pie! You can’t have anything! ”

    Murphy got all his proposals passed. All he needs to do now is compromise a little on what type of Millionaires tax he will get and he decides a state shutdown is better than compromise.

    Hey Governor ,think about other people!

  2. electing current ‘aptitude’ Rs would be more insanity….just move cruel
    school property tax to the higher incomes NJ State Tax system (offset some by lower
    property taxes for all rents/mortgages), and less total taxes for mid to low level earners.

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