Accountants in New Jersey aren’t running up the bunting for Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget. Indeed, when polled by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, 70 percent of nearly 500 CPAs said his budget would make the state’s economy worse over the long term. Thirty-eight percent were of the view the state’s economy would become “significantly worse,” while a somewhat less pessimistic cohort (32 percent) said the economy would become “marginally worse.” A further 17 percent said the economy would “stay the same.” Only 12 percent marked themselves as in the optimistic camp.
Among the CPAs with a gloomy outlook, most said the governor wasn’t focusing enough on the amount of state spending on public pension benefits and wasn’t dealing with high property taxes for both residents and businesses. They also were not keen on his proposed millionaire’s tax.
The small group who were optimistic about the governor’s plan suggested it would deliver increased revenues from the highest-income taxpayers, reduced healthcare costs, and the prospect of tax revenue from the sale of legalized, adult-use marijuana.
Nearly half those surveyed (47 percent) rated the state’s economy as “fair,” compared with 29 percent who described it as “poor” and 23 percent as “good.”