GLASSBORO, NJ – At a recent speech to business leaders, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy suggested that New Jersey may not be their state if they are concerned about tax rates.
“If you’re a one-issue voter and tax rate is your issue, either a family or a business, if that’s the only basis upon which you’re going to make a decision, we’re probably not your state,” Murphy said.
The Governor’s comments prompted a backlash from New Jersey lawmakers on the right and not-so-right.
“Two years on the job, the Governor refuses to address head-on what’s broken in New Jersey – our worst in the nation property taxes, public employees’ pension system and business climate. All three mean an underperforming economy and higher taxes,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Jack Ciatarelli. “The Governor can play the ‘stronger and fairer’ card all he wants. Fact is, with every passing week, citizens are waking up to the reality that all his progressive policy positions aren’t going to fix New Jersey. On the contrary, he’s worsening matters by making new fiscal promises when we can’t afford the old ones.”
“It’s outrageous that Gov. Murphy is telling families and employers they can ‘take it or leave it’ if they have a problem with New Jersey’s high taxes,” said Declan O’Scanlan of Monmouth County. “He should be working with the Republican caucus to make New Jersey more affordable. He should be listening to everyone who is telling him they can’t pay more and the many analysts and independent rating agencies sounding the alarm that New Jersey is headed for disaster if we don’t get our fiscal house in order. Suggesting our highest earning – and the top-taxpaying – residents might be better off leaving is exactly the wrong message.”
To Rochelle Park Mayor Michael Kazimir and Paramus Councilman Chris DiPiazza, the statement was indefensible.
“Gov. Murphy, people are struggling. They are struggling to keep their businesses open; struggling to retire in this state. Why? Because of the taxes you and the rest of the Trenton Democrats smother New Jerseyans with,” the pair said in a joint statement. “Gov. Murphy you and the rest of Trenton Democrats are to blame for the mass exodus of our citizens, people of NJ please vote to bring common sense and a new voice to Trenton this November, because according to Gov. Murphy and Trenton Democrats, ‘if you don’t like paying taxes get out of New Jersey.’”