New Jersey’s GOP lawmakers are pushing back against state Democrats’ Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Tax Relief Program, with Assembly Minority Leader John DiMaio (R-23) saying it wouldn’t cure New Jersey’s “taxation addiction.”
“Injecting steroids into Murphy’s recycled rebate program won’t get anyone more excited about it than when Murphy announced it in February,” DiMaio said. “It doesn’t deliver meaningful changes in fiscal policy and will be the first program to get cut when money is tight.”
The ANCHOR Bill would provide $2 billion worth of relief for the fiscal year 2023 budget, according to Gov. Phil Murphy, State Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-22) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19).
Anchor’s Not Aweigh
DiMaio said the plan amounted to a copy of a “big-government gimmick repeated over and over since the 1970s with no long-term results.”
DiMaio had previously introduced legislation alongside Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-24) that would cut incomes for low- and middle-income families in the garden state, but would prevent the state government from taking municipal revenue.
Dems Plan ‘Underwhelming’
State Sen. Michael Testa (R-1) was unimpressed by the proposal, saying that Republican lawmakers had introduced much better options including the DiMaoi-Wirths legislation and the “Give It Back” rebates proposed by other members of his party.
“The ANCHOR rebates that Governor Murphy and Democrats announced today are underwhelming to say the least,” said Testa, who serves a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee.
“The ‘Give It Back’ rebates proposed by Senate Republicans would provide double the relief and help twice as many people. This is likely a sign that Democrats are more focused on divvying up billions of pork in the budget than providing New Jersey families with real tax relief this year,” he noted.
‘Give It Back’ Motions
Senate Republicans sought a vote June 16 on the “Give It Back” rebates, with State Senate Minority Leader Steven Oroho (R-24) and State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) noting inflation was pinching New Jersey families harder than ever.
“It’s been more than three months since Senate Republicans introduced our plan to provide millions of New Jersey families with immediate $1,000 ‘Give It Back’ rebates,” said O’Scanlon before the State Senate met June 16. “During that time, our proposal has languished in the Democrat-run Legislature while gas prices continue hitting new records, soaring inflation is driving up the cost of groceries, and tax overcollections by our Treasury Department have ballooned to nearly $9 billion.”
The “Give It Back” rebates would return $3 billion in tax overcollections, and would help four million families, according to the Senators. O’Scanlon made a motion but it was tabled on a party line vote.