💲 NJ state budget deadline nears

💲 Democrats want to spend billions more than the state has

💲 All NJ residents expected to be forced to pay more

It is funny how the math works in Trenton.

Gov. Phil Murphy is asking his Democratic colleagues in the legislature to approve a nearly $56 billion budget, which would be another record.

The problem is that is nearly $2 billion more than the state has.

If this were your household budget and you were spending more money than you made, what would you do?

Likely you would be forced to cut your budget, rather than go door-to-door and ask your neighbors to kick in some cash to cover your overspending.

attachment-NJ Gov. Phil Murphy On reducing the sales tax in 2018

In Trenton, the very idea of reigning in spending to sustainable levels is not even a concept that is widely talked about except among minority Republicans who have zero say in the matter.

Murphy on historic spending spree

Since he took office in 2018, Gov. Murphy has embarked on a staggering spending spree fueled by tax increases and borrowing.

His critics (and many economists) say it is unsustainable, but it has not deterred Murphy from again spending more money than the state has.

Since taking office, Murphy has increased spending by $21.15 billion, or 61% in seven years.

READ MORE: Murphy's staggering spending spree

Murphy's fiscal year 2019 budget came in at $37.4 billion. At the time, Murphy proclaimed, "It is a budget that puts New Jersey families ahead of the wealthy and special interests – and that recognizes that we cannot build a brighter future by acting timidly and thinking small."

That is an average increase of nearly 9% per year, and well ahead of the cost of inflation and more than the tax relief Murphy and fellow Democrats are promising.

The last budget signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie for fiscal year 2018 came in at $34.75 billion.

attachment-high taxes and high cost of living are forcing more nj families to leave

You will pay more in new budget

The deadline for the new state budget is just over two weeks away.

Talk has centered on how to pay for all the spending and best way to separate residents and businesses from more of their money.

Murphy is pressing hard for a $1 billion tax hike on big corporations to fund New Jersey Transit. NJT doesn't actually need the money this year, so the revenue will be held in surplus and likely used for other purposes.

There has also been talk of hiking the state sales tax back to 7% to perhaps reduce the need to increase business taxes.

attachment-Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin NJ.com interview

Assembly speaker Craig Coughlin told NJ.com he is not in favor of raising the sales tax. He does favor higher taxes on businesses, but he wants that money to go to property tax relief and not New Jersey Transit.

These next two weeks will be a shell game between Murphy, Coughlin and Senate President Nick Scutari to figure out how to spend money New Jersey does not have.

None of the principals in this negotiation have even considered the smartest solution for taxpayers: Don't spend money you don't have.

Average property taxes in New Jersey

These are the county and municipal average property taxes for 2023. The data comes from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

New Jersey towns that cut their property taxes last year

In 2023, the average property tax bill declined in 44 municipalities in New Jersey. The rankings, listed from the smallest percentage decrease to the largest decrease, is based on recent state Department of Community Affairs analyzed by New Jersey 101.5.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

States with best and worst lifetime tax burden

Here's a look at U.S. states with the lowest lifetime tax burden and the highest, as analyzed by Self Financial — and just where New Jersey ranks, nationwide.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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