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Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange). Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

McKeon says he’s with Coughlin, not Murphy

Essex Dem says he opposes sales tax hike

By Nikita Biryukov, June 18 2018 11:27 am

Gov. Phil Murphy will have a though time flipping one of his Assembly targets in his fight to block the legislature’s version of the budget.

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange) said on Monday that his vote was with Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

“The speaker has my vote, as he should,” McKeon said. “I’m a member of the budget committee and I support him for certain, however, I have some very strongly held opinions about the millionaires’ tax or some permutation of that as being very important in the long run.”

McKeon, whose alliance with former Gov. Richard Codey, a state senator, made him a target for Murphy, said his position on that tax was one shared by some other members of the legislature.

That could mean that some shred of opposition to the budget proposal backed by Coughlin and Senate President Steven Sweeney, who has thus far opposed such a measure over fears that a heightened tax on New Jersey’s wealthy residents could cause them to leave the state.

Still, McKeon opposes other tax measures Murphy supports, including increasing the state’s sales tax.

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