Coalition Of Progressive Activists Tell Murphy: NJ Needs Much Higher Taxes

Steve Burns
February 23, 2020 - 11:18 am
NJ capitol building

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A coalition of activist groups in New Jersey is calling for higher taxes and more investments in education, transit and the environment ahead of Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address this week.

They call themselves For the Many, a partnership of around 30 activist organizations. They are calling for measures than go beyond what Murphy has proposed.

“We are talking about meeting people’s basic, fundamental needs for healthcare, house and safe, clean environment,” Staci Berger said.

Berger is among the advocates who say they New Jersey’s tax code has benefited the wealthy for too long.

Sue Altman, of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, said that tax code has come at a price.

“For too, too long New Jersey’s tax policies have served only the wealthy and well-connected,” Altman said. “We see our public infrastructure crumbling, we see our schools in disrepair, and income and racial inequality and segregation at an all-time high in our state.”

New Jersey Policy Perspective’s Brandon McKoy calls the past few decades of New Jersey budgets shortsighted.

“And this has set our state further behind and harmed our ability to make critical investments in our communities,” McKoy said.

The group wants to see not just a “millionaire’s tax” but a tax on everyone making more than $250,000 a year. It also wants to see the reversal of tax cuts made during the Chris Christie administration, including bringing the sales tax back to 7 percent and restoring the estate tax. Those are all likely to be tough sells.

“New Jersey is a very tax-sensitive state, and we have to find a way to make it more affordable,” New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney said.

Sweeney has, for two years, rejected the idea of a millionaire’s tax from his fellow Democrat, Gov. Murphy.