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Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley)

Caputo willing to back budget without millionaire’s tax

Assemblyman is the fifth to moderate support for Murphy’s trademarked policy

By Nikita Biryukov, June 10 2019 12:27 pm

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo on Monday told the New Jersey Globe he was willing to back a budget that did not include a millionaire’s tax.

“If it’s not posted, how am I going to support a millionaire’s tax? Doesn’t make any sense, does it? Naturally, I voted for it before, and I would if I were to have the opportunity, but I don’t know whether it’s going to be posted,” Caputo said. “So, I’m not going to vote against the budget for that reason.”

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has repeatedly said they would pass a budget this year that did not include any tax hikes.

Senate President Steve Sweeney is in that same camp, and the opposition the two legislative leaders hold for the millionaire’s tax hasn’t waned at all since they pass a watered-down millionaire’s tax that kicked in for those making more than $5 million per year.

The proposal was a cornerstone of Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign, and the governor has continued to push it, but he’s found little support for it in the Senate and little lasting support for it in the Assembly.

Over the last week, many of the legislators that had backed the millionaire’s tax in the lower chamber have moderated their support for the measure, saying they were willing to vote for a budget that did not include a tax on high earners.

Assemblyman John McKeon, Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, Assemblyman Gary Schaer and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly have tempered their support for the millionaire’s tax, though most of them still support the proposal ideologically.

But that support doesn’t mean much if the tax never makes it to the floor of either chamber.

“I would prefer that it be in, but it’s not going to be posted,” Caputo said. “You know that.”

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