Gov. Phil Murphy appears to be gaining support for his proposed millionaire’s tax among the Essex County legislative delegation, according to four sources who attended a closed-door meeting for elected officials on Thursday.
Two state senators – Richard Codey (D-Roseland) and Ronald Rice (D-Newark – committed their votes, as did three members of the Assembly: Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) and Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange).
A fourth assemblyman, John McKeon (D-West Orange), endorsed the proposal to increase the income tax on households with annual incomes of more than $1 million on March 5.
The millionaire’s tax also won the backing of two powerful Essex Democrats: county executive Joseph DiVincenzo and Newark mayor Ras Baraka. Both announced their support at the meeting with Murphy, all the sources confirmed.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), Assembly Budget Committee chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark) and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark) attended the meeting but did not take a position on the issue.
Three other Essex legislators – State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair), Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-Montclair) and Assemblywoman Shanique Speight (D-Newark) – were not in attendance.
Codey made reference to an independent poll released that morning showing that 72% of New Jerseyans back the millionaire’s tax, with Democrats supporting the proposal by a 90%-10% margin.
“The 10% of the Democrats are in the Legislature,” Codey reportedly quipped.
At one point during the meeting, Codey sneezed.
“God bless you,” Murphy said.
“That’s not what you said to me when I refused to vote for (the legalization of) marijuana,” said Codey.
“The blank you was consistent,” retorted Murphy.