New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D.) said Wednesday that he believes taxes in his state can go down, despite his recent budget proposal that asks for $1.6 billion in new taxes.
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist told Murphy that many people who he knows and corporations have complained about the tax burden in the Garden State and asked the governor what he is doing to "alleviate" some of the financial burdens on them.
"This is a state on its best day that was a good value for money state. You never went to New Jersey because it was a low-cost place. You went there because you got a rich basket of stuff back for that," Murphy said. "The problem is over the years the premium has gone up, up, and up and the basket has shrunk, so I view my job as getting control of the premium, growing the economy, cracking the back of property taxes in particular, and then investing in the middle class in that basket of stuff."
Geist followed up by asking Murphy whether he thinks taxes will come down.
"I think they can come down," Murphy said. "We have to grow the economy, though, and I'm optimistic we can. We're a state that used to rely on the innovation economy. We were Silicon Valley in many respects before there was a Silicon Valley. Infrastructure's a big deal for us given our location. I think if we can reclaim those economies, we're going to get this thing rocking again."
Murphy did not provide specifics about how his administration will lower taxes when his budget proposal, unveiled last month, asks for $1.6 billion in new taxes. The taxes would affect the wealthy and retail purchases of everyone in the state, according to NorthJersey.com.
In his first budget proposal as governor, the 60-year-old Democrat outlined how he intends to make good on campaign promises such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, legalizing marijuana, providing free community college tuition, and restoring troubled NJ Transit.
The cost would fall on every taxpayer in the form of a 7 percent levy on retail sales, tied for the second-highest rate among states and up from the current 6.625 percent. High-income earners would see their state income tax rate increase to 10.75 percent, the third-highest in the country, from the current 8.97 percent. And Murphy is proposing new taxes on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, home-sharing sites like Airbnb, legal marijuana sales, and investment profits.