Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday said he would unveil a budget that would help the middle class, but hedged on specifics about tax hikes.

“We are talking about tax equity and fairness. We’re not getting into class warfare. We want to make sure people pay their fair share,” Murphy told Eric Scott during his first appearance on New Jersey 101.5’s “Ask the Governor.”

Murphy on Tuesday will deliver his first budget address to the Legislature. On Monday, he suggested that his budget would follow themes he highlighted during his campaign.

“We want to make sure people pay their fair share. The middle class has been hollowed out, particularly over the past eight years,” he said. “Tomorrow is the time we can really say it with clarity to reinvest and rebuild our middle class.”

Murphy campaigned on raising taxes on millionaires, which had been opposed by former Gov. Chris Christie. After Murphy's election, however, Senate President Steve Sweeney called such tax hikes an "absolute last resort" even though he had proposed a millionaire's tax during Christie's tenure. Last week, Sweeney proposed raising taxes on corporations that received a windfall from the federal tax cuts, an idea that Murphy said he is willing to consider.

Murphy said his address also would touch on funding for NJ Transit, whose leadership he has criticized, and that he would name a “shared-services czar” to tackle costs of municipal governments and school districts.

“I don’t think we will be the low-cost state in the nation but I want to be the 'good value for money state' in the nation,” he said.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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