Sales Tax Revenues Continue to Outpace Murphy Administration’s Dire Revenue Projections
As sales tax collections continue to outpace the Murphy Administration’s dire revenue estimates for FY 2021 and the State budget surplus grows, the Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee repeated their calls for action on a substantial aid package to support small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the impact of COVID-19.
As sales tax collections continue to outpace the Murphy Administration’s dire revenue estimates for FY 2021 and the State budget surplus grows, the Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee repeated their calls for action on a substantial aid package to support small businesses and nonprofits struggling with the impact of COVID-19. (©iStock)
“While more and more of our small businesses are closing shop with little help from the State, Governor Murphy only seems willing to look out for his own political interests,” said Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13). “He’s building a massive surplus with borrowed and taxed funds that’s not helping anyone but himself. We’re hoping our Democrat colleagues in the Legislature will do the right thing and join us in passing a substantial aid package to help small businesses and nonprofits survive.”
According to the Office of Legislative Services (OLS), sales tax collections remitted to the State through November 20th for October grew to $830.6 million this year (FY 2021) from $793.5 million least year (FY 2020), an increase of 4.7%.
In contrast, the Murphy Administration projected sales tax collections for FY 2021 to be lower than pre-COVID levels in FY 2019 due to the impact of the coronavirus.
Senate Republicans have warned for months that the Murphy Administration was pushing artificially depressed revenue estimates to convince the New Jersey Supreme Court to allow a massive “emergency” borrowing plan that otherwise would have been unconstitutional.
“We have mounting evidence that Governor Murphy wasn’t honest about the State’s finances when he sold his multi-billion dollar borrowing scheme to the New Jersey Supreme Court,” said Testa (R-1). “While he succeeded in fooling the court and further enriching his liberal banker friends on Wall Street, he’s utterly failed to support struggling Main Street businesses that won’t survive much longer without the substantial assistance our relief package would provide.”
O’Scanlon and Testa are the prime sponsors of S-3210, which appropriates $300 million of the CARES Act relief funds received by the State to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide financial support, such as loans or grants, to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations for the costs associated with business operation interruptions caused by any State-required closures due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oroho and Thompson are co-sponsors of the legislation, which would be funded from the unspent portion of the $2.4 billion block grant received by New Jersey through the federal CARES Act, or from the State’s rapidly growing budget surplus.
“Governor Murphy is sitting on unspent CARES Act funds and a growing multi-billion dollar budget surplus that are collecting dust while people are suffering,” said Thompson (R-12). “If we don’t put that money to productive use immediately, the doom-and-gloom budget scenario that the administration has been peddling might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
According to TrackTheRecovery.org, an economic tracker maintained by Harvard University, 31.2% of New Jersey’s small businesses closed from January to mid-November.
Still, State revenue collections have managed to beat the Murphy Administration’s projections consistently for months.
“New Jerseyans, our overall economy, and State revenues have been much more resilient than Governor Murphy has been willing to admit, but we’re starting to see the limits of how much people can be forced to suffer under oppressive executive orders,” added Oroho (R-24). “That strain is hitting small businesses and nonprofits the hardest. They need real help to counter the devastating impact of the governor’s newest restrictions, and they need it now. We know the money is there, there’s absolutely no reason for Trenton Democrats to continue delaying action on our plan to save Main Streets across New Jersey.”
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