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Assemblyman Benjie Wimberley (D-Paterson)

Wimberley thinks Assembly can pass budget without tax hikes

Early back of Murphy millionaire tax proposal now says it may not be necessary

By David Wildstein, June 04 2019 12:30 pm

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson) is now backing off his initial support for Gov. Phil Murphy’s millionaire’s tax proposal, saying that he thinks the legislature can pass a budget without raising taxes.

“I am proud of the collected revenue exceeding our budget expectations,” Wimberly said. “It is because of this I am confident we will be able to pass a budget without additional broad-based taxes.”

Wimberley is one of eleven State Assembly members who have said they favor a tax on New Jersey households with incomes exceeding $1 million.  Of those eleven, three have acknowledged that Murphy doesn’t have the votes and indicated that they would vote for a budget that does not include a millionaire’s tax.

“I have been clear that I would support a millionaires tax if posted for a vote, but I also realize there is not enough support in our caucus for such a bill to gain passage,” said Wimberly. “I will work with Speaker Coughlin and our leadership to help craft a budget that reflects our Democratic priorities of protecting the most vulnerable and making the state more affordable for working families.”

Two Hudson County legislators, Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne) and Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City), said today that the also back the millionaire’s tax if the measure is posted for a vote.

Unless Speaker Craig Coughlin allows Murphy’s budget proposal to be voted on by the Assembly,  the number of legislators voicing support is merely meant to place some political pressure on the legislative leadership.

Five Democratic senators have indicated their willingness to back a millionaire’s tax.

Wimberly’s announcement is significant because he comes from Passaic County, where Democratic County Chairman John Currie is a key supporter of the governor.

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