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Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Murphy feels good about budget deal

Governor says he still thinks sales tax was a ‘gimmick’

By Nikita Biryukov, Jul 10 2018 3:01 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t putting much stock into political takes that the first-term governor got out-maneuvered by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

“That’s so Trenton’s way of doing business, which we’re trying to break through,” Murphy said at a press conference Tuesday. “The big winner here, this just in, is the middle class of New Jersey, and that’s frankly all I care about.”

While Murphy did get a version of the millionaires tax he sought during negotiations, legislators made out with a handful of the taxes they sought, including a temporary hike to the corporate business tax.

But, the big driver behind the takes on Murphy losing is his backing off a proposition to move the sales tax back to the 7% rate the state had before Gov. Chris Christie cut it as part of a deal to raise the gas tax in 2016.

“At the end of the day, to not have perfect be the enemy of the good, I feel very good about where we ended up,” Murphy said. “On the sales tax, I still think it was a gimmick.”

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