Try Your Hand at Drafting New Jersey’s Next Budget: Use This Calculator

Colleen O'Dea, John Reitmeyer | March 13, 2020 | Budget
As the governor and legislators get down to budgeting, make your voice heard on what the spending and taxing priorities should be

Gov. Phil Murphy has proposed a $40.85 billion spending plan for New Jersey for fiscal year 2021 and legislators have begun their own examination that is likely to result in a different plan than Murphy’s.

Now’s your chance. Below are some of the most commonly discussed revenues and expenditures that you can either increase or cut by clicking the accompanying check box. Remember, though, that the budget must be balanced when you are finished, meaning revenues must match or exceed expenditures because the state constitution does not allow a deficit.

When you are done, feel free to share on social media. Send us a copy if you’d like. And if you have any comments, please click on the comments box below the tool.

Revenues

Restore state sales tax - currently 6.625% - to 7% ($650M) Do not increase income tax on incomes $1 million - $5 million; the so-called millionaires tax ($494M) Maintain surcharge on businesses earning more than $1 million ($300M) Restore estate tax that was repealed in 2018 ($475M) Legalize and tax recreational marijuana use ($100M) End sales tax break on purchases of boats/yachts ($15M) Enact state health insurance industry fee - similar to federal fee recently abolished ($500M) No increase in cigarette taxes - currently $2.70 per pack ($216M) Eliminate inheritance tax ($420M) Reduce income taxes by 10% ($1.68B) Cut corporate business taxes 10% ($390M) No responsibility fee on companies for shifting costs to Medicaid ($181M) Do not add additional levy on opioids manufacturers ($20M) No increases in taxes/fees on guns/ammunition ($8.5M)

Expenditures

Fully fund school aid formula ($1.1B) Double Homestead property tax credits ($276M) Increase aid to municipalities/restore Energy Tax Receipts ($622M) Fully fund actuarial pension requirement ($1.5B) End special fund diversions - Clean Energy, etc. - to pay for NJ Transit ($671M) Boost by 10% operating aid to public colleges ($83.4M) Increase charity care subsidy to hospitals by 10% ($26.9M) Eliminate free community college tuition for income-qualified ($25M) No free tuition expansion to four-year colleges - first 2 years ($50M) Eliminate legal assistance for undocumented immigrants ($3.1M) Adopt Path to Progress health care reforms for state workers/retirees ($587M) Hold total budget reserves/surplus at FY20 levels ($360M) Cut executive branch spending across the board by 10% ($3.14B) Eliminate federal Title X replacement funding to health centers ($9.5M)
$40B $30B $20B $10B $0
Total resources: 0
Total expenditures: 0
Surplus: 0
Note the surplus is Murphy's opening surplus for FY2021. It doesn't include money deposited into the surplus revenue fund and open space reserves.