New Jersey Citizen Action statement on Governor Murphy’s proposed 2021 budget
Highland Park—New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) today released the following statement on Governor Murphy’s proposed fiscal 2021 state budget from Associate Director Dena Mottola Jaborska:
“The Governor today proposed a responsible and compassionate crisis recovery budget that prioritizes many of the needs of New Jersey’s working families. New Jersey can’t recover from the COVID-19 pandemic without addressing the struggles of those hardest hit by this crisis, who include our low- and moderate-income families, our communities of color and our immigrants. This budget ensures many of the most critical public services New Jerseyans depend on will continue. But the needs of our immigrant families excluded from the federal stimulus have again been neglected, and we urgently need our elected leaders to work together and address this.
“There is much to commend in this budget. We can’t beat a global pandemic without addressing the growing number of uninsured in our state, and we applaud the Murphy administration’s continuing efforts to make quality healthcare affordable through the Health Insurance Assessment. $150 million in Affordable Care Act subsidies is a critical first step in making healthcare affordable for all New Jerseyans and we look to even more progress as our own state healthcare exchange is established next year. The Governor’s baby bond proposal is a wise, long-term investment that will help build economic security for New Jersey’s low- and moderate-income families. We also strongly support the proposed $2.2 billion budget surplus. Given the continuing economic uncertainty and the policies of the Trump administration, we believe a healthy rainy day fund is vital to New Jersey’s fiscal security.
“Governor Murphy’s budget addresses longstanding issues of tax inequity by raising taxes on those who need to pay their fair share: New Jersey’s millionaires and its most profitable corporations. New Jersey’s working families, communities of color and immigrants have been economically devastated by the pandemic, while millionaires and some large corporations have greatly prospered during this same time period. The financial burden of our state’s recovery should not be shouldered by those struggling to make ends meet but by those who have long benefited from over-generous tax breaks. The proposed millionaires tax, the corporate business surcharge, the limousine tax and uncapping of the yacht tax are important steps forward in addressing longstanding racial and socio-economic tax inequities, and vital to funding investments in New Jersey’s future.
“But this budget does not address the struggles of our immigrants who have been cut out of federal relief efforts. These are our neighbors and friends, state residents who pay taxes and make up an important part of our workforce. Many risk their lives by performing essential jobs while the pandemic rages. We can address their and other unmet pressing needs by finding other equitable sources of revenue, such as reconstituting an estate tax and adopting an inheritance tax on New Jersey’s wealthiest residents. We urge our elected leaders to work together to help refine this budget as we put New Jersey on the road to recovery while also investing in our state’s future.”
New Jersey Citizen Action is a statewide advocacy and social service organization that advocates for social, racial and economic justice for all while also meeting the pressing needs of low and moderate income New Jerseyans through education and direct service.