Booming tax collections leave New Jersey $10.1B surplus

New Jersey

FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2020 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a news conference after witnessing the first coronavirus vaccinations at University Hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, N.J. While Murphy has pledged to be transparent throughout the coronavirus pandemic, his administration has denied or slowly responded to requests for records related to spending, communications and decision-making.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey will carry a $10.1 billion surplus into the new fiscal year that starts July 1, a stark turnaround from last year when Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy sought to borrow almost $10 billion because of a revenue downturn.

State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio delivered the news to the Democrat-led state Senate Budget Committee in writing on Thursday, just a day after sending it to their Assembly counterparts.

The $10.1 billion figure is nearly $4 billion higher than the Murphy administration had forecast earlier this year.

The surge in revenue comes as lawmakers and Murphy face a June 30 deadline to enact a balanced budget. Now they have to decide how to allocate the money.

“Gov. Murphy’s budget will make investments in New Jersey and New Jerseyans and — unlike the budgets of Governor Christie, which prioritized tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires — will ensure we properly invest in our public education system, reduce the burden of health care costs, and provide additional tax cuts to New Jersey’s growing middle class,” a spokesperson for Gov. Murphy told PIX11 News. “We will continue to discuss proposals with legislative leadership to determine the best uses of state funds.

The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee as well as the Assembly GOP called for the windfall to be returned to New Jersey taxpayers.

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