A government shutdown has been averted as Gov. Phil Murphy and fellow Democrats in the Legislature have struck a deal on a fiscal 2019 budget.
“This is a win for the middle class and working families,” Murphy said.
The governor was flanked at a 7:30 p.m. Saturday press conference by Legislative leaders including Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District; Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District; Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-37th District; Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver; and Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.
As part of the agreement, Murphy agreed to a millionaires’ tax with a threshold at $5 million, a concession that had been sought by Sweeney.
The Senate President also got the corporate business tax he was looking for, which would see an increase by 2.5 percent for two years and 1.5 percent for the two years after that.
“The corporations that Donald [Trump] gave billions of dollars to are finally going to give their fair share,” Sweeney said.
But the tax rate multimillionaires will pay will grow to the 10.75 percent rate Murphy sought, rather than the 9.95 percent rate backed by the Legislature.
There will be no sales tax increase, despite Murphy’s attempts to boost it from the current 6.625 percent to 7 percent.
Saturday evening’s announcement comes as a relief for those fearing the second state shutdown in a row. The state’s parks and beaches were on the verge of a shutdown just prior to the July 4 holiday, and racetracks and casinos were told they would have to cease operations as well.
A vote on the new budget is scheduled for Sunday.