River Crossing Strategy Group

News Item

Contact: Timothy White | Published On: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
NJ is swimming in billions of extra dollars, officials say. The question is how to use it

New Jersey's tax revenues are about $7 billion over what Gov. Phil Murphy projected just two months ago — an "unprecedented" amount that should help soften the blow of a predicted recession, state finance officials said Monday. 

The massive flood of revenues into state coffers, detailed before a legislative committee Monday, could also mean property tax relief to homeowners and reducing the state's large debt burden, Murphy administration officials said. 

"The state’s fiscal picture is remarkably strong," Deputy Treasurer Aaron Binder told the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. 

So strong, in fact, that New Jersey's tax collections through April soared $13.4 billion — or 35% — beyond what they were two years ago, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health emergency that prompted lockdowns and business closures worried Murphy and Democratic lawmakers so much about plunging revenues that they borrowed roughly $4 billion to offset losses. 

But those losses never materialized. And now state leaders, after many years of fiscal white-knuckling to balance budgets, are in the unusual position of determining how to manage many billions of unanticipated dollars.


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