The Democrat debate in Trenton over which taxes to raise on New Jersey residents and by how much ended last evening with no deal. Voting sessions scheduled for today in the Assembly and the Senate where cancelled. Legislators were told to report to Trenton on Saturday.
If Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin do not make a deal that is approved by the legislature by midnight on Saturday, New Jersey’s state government will shutdown for the second consecutive year.
Governor Murphy wants to increase income taxes on millionaires and the sales tax on everybody. Sweeney and Coughlin want to raise taxes on businesses to the highest in the nation, expand the sales tax to internet purchases, real estate sales, and impose a new tax on vacation rental homes and Airbnb rentals.
Murphy told the press on Wednesday that he thought a deal could be made in 30 minutes. But he, Sweeney and Coughlin met for over two hours yesterday and are expected to huddle again today.
Freshman Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, a Monmouth County Republican, expressed her frustration in a statement to MMM.
“What’s frustrating is that we’ve spent a lot of time in Trenton these last few weeks voting on bills that are inconsequential to the running of our state instead of working toward budget cuts and ways to make our state affordable,” DiMaso said. “I feel like we need a ‘waste of time button’ instead of yay or nay.”
DiMaso mention legislation naming the bog turtle as the state reptile and legislation requiring banks to cash checks as bills she would have voted ‘waste of time’ if given the option.
“Granted, some of these bills may warrant further consideration, but we should be discussing impending tax increases, funding our children’s education and the looming state shutdown first. These well-meaning, but irrelevant bills are a waste of taxpayer and legislators’ time,” DiMaso said.