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Assemblyman Harold Wirths at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Assembly Republicans attack budget

GOP say tax relief comes too little, too late for New Jersey families

By George Christopher, June 29 2022 12:01 pm

Citing a lack of transparency and excessive earmarks, Assembly Republican leaders continued to criticize the proposed state budget on the day the Democratic-controlled legislature is set to pass it.

“There’s more pork here than the state of Iowa” said Assembly Republican Budget Officer Hal Wirths (R-Wantage). “Everybody got something, but the taxpayers didn’t get anything. The taxpayers got screwed on this budget.”

Wirths specifically referenced Murphy’s ANCHOR tax relief program saying the budget was a “boat anchor around the taxpayers of New Jersey.”

Republicans also attacked Democratic plans for a tax rebate,  saying the relief would take till next May to reach New Jersey households. Wirths claimed the delay was a ploy by Democrats to benefit them in the 2023 elections.

“It’s another election gimmick,” said Wirths.

Still, Republican opposition to the budget will still force some members to vote against tax relief, something that could be politically treacherous. When asked how they’ll respond, Republicans reiterated their wants of a quicker tax relief and a less “bloated” budget.

“[Tax relief] should be now or at least the fall before the heating bills come” said the minority leader, John DiMaio (R-Hackettstown). “People are gonna be walking around their house in coats.”

Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Nancy Munoz (R-Summit), who has been critical of the proposed budget since its introduction, also took part in the press conference.

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