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Michael Testa

Posted on: January 19, 2024

Bucco, Testa: More Taxpayer Dollars Could Have Been Saved by a More Thoughtful Approach

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Today, Senators Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Michael Testa (R-1) released the following statement after the Murphy administration’s effort to retire outstanding debt leaves savings on the table to benefit its own bloated, pork-laden budget.

"The Murphy administration’s use of $500 million for debt defeasance might have benefits, but it’s frustrating that the debt being retired is less expensive debt than what could have been retired with far larger savings for taxpayers. Much of the debt that is being retired is coming due in the next few years, with more than $40 million coming due in less than 6 months — the payments having already been budgeted in this year’s budget.

"To put it in perspective, if you can pay off more expensive credit card debt or longer-term car loan debt, it would be smarter to pay off the more expensive debt first. The Murphy administration paid off the less expensive short-term debt. And instead of providing relief to property taxpayers by paying off the most expensive local debt — a proposal from republicans that was rejected — the Murphy administration preferred to defease less expensive state debt to free up money to benefit its own bloated, pork-laden budget.

"This money could also have been used to support road projects without resorting to either tax increases or expensive 30-year debt. The governor’s announcement is a wasted opportunity to avoid new taxes and new debt when reauthorizing the transportation trust fund and is, frankly, poor stewardship of taxpayer dollars. This is nothing more than pulling the wool over the New Jersey taxpayers’ eyes when a lot more of taxpayer dollars could have been saved by a more thoughtful approach that embraced republican recommendations. In short, the administration dropped the ball."

To talk to Senators Bucco or Testa, please contact Kyle Fischer, SRO Communications Director.

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