Sweeney Statement Regarding Speaker Coughlin’s Pledge of No New Tax Hikes in 2019

Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following response to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin’s comments pledging no additional tax hikes in next year’s budget:

“I applaud Speaker Coughlin for taking a bold stand on no tax hikes in next year’s budget.

“We can neither tax our way out of our current fiscal crisis nor can we politicize the crisis. By stating in August, ‘no new tax hikes,’ the Speaker is demonstrating strong leadership by removing the discussion from last-minute June budget negotiations.

“In the heat of those budget negotiations, we often lose sight of our common objective of making New Jersey more affordable to residents and more attractive to business investment. To achieve that common goal, we must be willing to look all options, which was the one mandate the bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup was given. Without the Speaker’s support of that workgroup’s mandate, the recommendations that we will now begin to study in depth would not be before legislators in both chambers.

“The Speaker is correct in his assessment that additional taxes will not lead us to the path of a more affordable and competitive New Jersey.

“I look forward to working with the Speaker, my colleagues in the Senate and the governor in finding sensible solutions that reflect our fiscal reality and our shared democratic values.”

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