New Jersey’s Budget Surplus Presents an Opportunity — and Obligation — to Help All Residents Recover From the Pandemic

As state leaders decide how to allocate surplus funds, it’s critical that they go to working- and middle-class families, not wealthy corporations.

Published on May 16, 2022 in Tax and Budget

Today, updated revenue collections for FY 2022 were presented by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Treasury announced projected revenues of $51.4 billion, $4.5 billion above Governor Murphy’s proposed budget. This coincides with higher anticipated revenues in Fiscal Year 2023. In response, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.

Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:

“A multi-billion dollar surplus provides state lawmakers with a historic opportunity — and obligation — to help those who are struggling the most. Robust pandemic-related stimulus showed that fiscal responsibility and support for working families can and should go hand and hand, because what’s best for workers is what’s best for the economy. As state leaders decide how to allocate these surplus funds, it’s critical that they go to working- and middle-class families rather than profitable corporations and wealthy households who don’t need it. And there’s no need for lawmakers to reinvent the wheel. The best way to target relief is to build upon programs that we know work, like expanding cash assistance, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, and establishing a state-level Child Tax Credit.

“Lawmakers would also be wise to make a substantial deposit in the state’s rainy day fund to prepare the state for the next economic downturn. The good news is that, with a surplus of this size, we can do this and still provide relief to families in need. Using these funds to shore up the state’s finances is the most responsible course of action because it protects essential public services and safety net programs when they are needed most.”

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