Multi-Year Budgeting Would Encourage Lawmakers to Plan for the Future

Having a long-term view of the budget would allow lawmakers and the public alike to see the full impact of tax and budget decisions.

Published on Mar 28, 2022 in Tax and Budget

Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo today announced that he would like the state to take a multi-year approach to the state budget. Multi-year budgeting is a best practice long-recommended by good-governance advocates and budget policy experts. There are 22 states that project revenue for periods longer than a single year and 19 states that project spending for multiple years. In response to Chairman Sarlo’s comments, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.

Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:

“Multi-year budgeting would move the state away from short-sighted, politically convenient decisions and encourage lawmakers to plan for the future. Looking at revenue collections and spending beyond the current year is the only way for lawmakers to see the full impact of tax and budget decisions and what’s needed to sustainably fund programs that families and communities rely on. Ideally, the state would project revenue and spending three to five years into the future so lawmakers and the public can have a long-term view of the state budget. Given the state’s current financial outlook and disappearing federal aid, this is the perfect time for New Jersey to reform its budget-making process to be more transparent and responsible.”

Read more about multi-year budgeting and other best practices like consensus revenue forecasting in NJPP’s April 2021 report, Tools for Building a Healthy Budget.

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