Will the Murphy administration propose higher taxes next week?

Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t releasing the administration’s new state budget until next week, but already there’s a debate over whether the budget should include tax increases.

A group of nearly 100 economists and economic policy experts wrote a letter to the governor and legislative leaders saying the budget should be balanced with tax increases and not, what it called, counterproductive budget cuts. The group supports a plan put forward by New Jersey Policy Perspective that calls for income tax increases on wealthy residents along with extending a temporary corporate tax surcharge.

But Michele Siekerka of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association says a tax increase on businesses is inappropriate. She says there’s no way businesses, many of which remain closed, can pay more.

Atlantic City’s casinos have reopened but they’re employing fewer workers. New numbers from the state show the casinos employed more than 4,200 fewer workers in July compared to a year ago. And that doesn’t even include all of those workers who have been furloughed due to COVID-19.