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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Coughlin reiterates opposition to millionaire’s tax

Murphy held press conference pushing the proposal Monday

By Nikita Biryukov, June 03 2019 4:11 pm

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin stance on the millionaire’s tax didn’t budge after Gov. Phil Murphy hosted what promises to be the first of many press conferences pushing the policy.

“Speaker Coughlin does not believe we need to include a millionaire’s tax to balance the budget,” Coughlin spokeswoman Liza Acevedo said. “Speaker Coughlin looks forward to continuing discussions with the Governor and Senate President to ensure government, at all levels, runs as efficiently and effectively as possible, advance fiscally responsible legislation and craft a state budget.”

Murphy’s push for a millionaire’s tax promises to be—and already has been—a point of conflict in this year’s budget negotiations.

Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney have long said they would oppose tax increases in this year’s budget.

At the moment, Murphy’s jockeying to secure enough votes to pass the measure in both chambers of the legislature.

So far, Murphy has the support of four State Senators — Brian Stack (D-Union City), Shirley Turner (D-Lawrence), Ronald Rice (D-Newark) and former Gov. Dick Codey (D-Roseland) — and a fifth, State Sen. Nellie Pou told the New Jersey Globe Monday that she would vote for a millionaire’s tax if a bill was posted.

Nine members of Coughlin’s caucus have backed Murphy’s millionaire’s tax.

The short of it is that, right now, Murphy very much lacks the votes needed to push the measure through.

“Speaker Coughlin encourages Governor Murphy to keep an open mind regarding signing a fiscally sound budget, excluding a millionaire’s tax,” Acevedo said.

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