Governor Murphy Announces NJ 2023 Budget
This month, Governor Murphy in his budget address stated that the NJ FY 2023 budget presented an “Opportunity for the State to be Stronger, Fairer, and More Affordable.” The Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Address was presented in person before a joint session of the Senate and Assembly where he unveiled a proposed $48.9 billion state budget that lifts NJ spending to a new record-high. The Governor’s spending plan is an increase of $2.5 billion over the current state budget.
It was the first time the Governor has addressed lawmakers in person in two years as the coronavirus is fully waning in NJ. “Not that anyone counted, but the last time I stood here was 743 days ago,” Murphy said. “It has been, without any doubt, a long and hard two years. Today we are back in this Chamber. But more importantly, New Jersey is getting back to normal.”
The Governor highlighted resiliency from the pandemic, fiscal responsibility, and affordability as his main points throughout the speech. “This budget is rooted in a renewed commitment to moving our state forward, creating opportunity for every family, and making our state more affordable,” Murphy said. “Moreover, this budget directly takes on the most stubborn affordability challenge that has faced our state for decades – property taxes.”
From here, it is now up to the Governor and the Democratic-controlled State Senate and Assembly to negotiate a final budget over the next four months. The Governor must sign a balanced budget into law by June 30. The plan will next be subject to a series of public hearings.
Some key highlights from the budget:
- A Promise of No New Corporate Taxes or Fees
- A record projected surplus of $4.2 billion – nearly twice the size of last year’s proposed surplus.
- The cornerstone of the address was Murphy’s proposal for the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Property Tax Relief Program.
- “$900 million in direct property tax relief this year … for nearly 1.8 million middle class and senior homeowners and renters.
- A full public-employee pension payment, for the second year in a row, totaling $6.8 billion which will support the retirement of about 800,000 active and retired state and local government workers.
- A $300 million Affordable Housing Protection Fund, money that will go towards constructing affordable housing projects that have been greenlit but not yet built.
- Additionally, this budget cuts numerous state fees by a combined $60 million.
- Including one-year fee holidays for driver’s license renewals, marriage licenses, state park entry, and for roughly 130,000 professionals across the health care spectrum.
- NJ Transit funding that staves off fare increase for a fifth consecutive year.