State’s revenue picture brightens in July

When it comes to New Jersey’s revenue collections, things are improving. The State Treasury department reported July revenue collections were up 120% due in part to delayed income tax payments. These revenue numbers are closely watched as the Murphy administration is working on its new state budget, which will be unveiled later this month.

Gov. Phil Murphy is giving the state’s colleges and universities more financial support. The administration will provide the first $150 million in direct aid to help schools cover the extra costs they’ve incurred due to the pandemic for things like modifying facilities and transitioning to online learning.  The funds come from the Federal CARES Act money distributed to New Jersey.

More signs of trouble for the American Dream Mall, which was in the midst of a partial opening as the pandemic took hold. Rutgers Economics Professor Bruce Mizrach says the bonds used to finance the project are falling in price, which is a sign that the mall’s investors are losing confidence. And while shoppers are venturing out to stores, he says they are avoiding megamalls.

Don’t expect anymore help for the economy anytime soon. Talks over a new economic stimulus package have been stalled and now members of Congress have left town for their August recess. Big disagreements remain over issues that include funding for schools, state governments and unemployed workers.