GOP blasts Dem spending plans on eve of budget address

“Trenton is mission control, and tomorrow is going to be the first launch.”

That’s according to Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), who was part of a Republican Senate and Assembly news conference Monday pre-empting Gov. Phil Murphy’s first budget address.

“Mission control is going to spend their time raising taxes,” he said.

Bramnick said the Democratic-controlled Legislature will be repeating history with Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) at the helm looking for ways to spend an anticipated budget surplus.

“Despite the fact that we anticipate a budget surplus, you can see the Democrats are already fighting over which tax to raise,” Bramnick said.

Sen. Tom Kean (R-Westfield) said he believes that surplus will be between $800 million to $1.5 billion, and should be refunded to taxpayers in the form of property tax relief, or put towards funding the state’s pensions.

Any property tax relief could come in the form of a direct payment, to taxpayers or municipalities, or to reduce the tax levy or school funding.

Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood) said that, between the governor pursuing a millionaires tax and Sweeney’s plan to increase the corporate tax, the state is going to deter people and businesses from moving in.

Instead, he said, the plans will encourage even more people to move to Florida.

“We don’t want to have people become Florida residents to save money,” he said.

Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-Bridgewater) echoed Singer on high taxes driving residents to Florida, saying that high-income earners have left the state in droves.