When Gov. Phil Murphy delivers his budget address on Tuesday, he’s expected to call for tax increases to help pay for expanded state spending for a wide variety of programs and services.

A new analysis by New Jersey’s largest business group argues expanded spending would put the Garden State in a perilous financial position, and move the state one step closer to a fiscal calamity.

Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said a new report finds over the past decade “the state debt, our long term obligations, have increased 382 percent while at the same time our revenues have only increased about 23 percent and our expenses increased about 45 percent.”

She said these are "unsustainable numbers."

"We’re sitting today on over $200 billion of long-term debt here in the state of New Jersey," she said. "The time for reform is now, and it needs to start right now, today.”

Siekerka said you don’t have to be a financial wizard to understand this pattern of racking up more and more debt while spending more money is simply not sustainable.

“How long can you go on with having a long term obligation that is hundreds of times your annual revenue?” she asked.

Siekerka said reforms should include addressing property taxes — and "this means addressing the cost of living in the state of New Jersey.”

“I just think of the future generation, our children, our grandchildren, this is what they’re staring at, they’re staring at debt that they’re going to have no way to pull themselves out of.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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