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New Jersey passes budget that boosts taxes on companies making over $10 million

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Democrat-led Legislature passed a $56.6 billion budget on Friday that hikes taxes on high-earning corporations, sending the measure to Gov. Phil Murphy, who’s expected to sign it.

Lawmakers were two days ahead of their constitutionally set deadline to enact a balanced budget, avoiding a government shutdown.

For taxpayers, the spending plans includes billions for K-12 education, property tax relief, public pensions and a host of other programs. For businesses making over $10 million a year, the budget carries a tax increase, hiking the top corporate rate to 11.5% for those firms, up from 9%.

Murphy, also a Democrat, proposed what he called the corporate transit fee to help the beleaguered New Jersey Transit, which could face a budget crunch in the coming year. The agency, which operates buses and trains in the state, has taken capital funds to finance its operational budget for years.

Murphy had promised to find a way to dedicate funding to the agency. It’s unclear to what extent the tax increase completely accomplishes that goal. That’s in part because the Legislature would have to dedicate the funding in subsequent budget years, the kind of commitment that could prove difficult to achieve if tax collections fall, for example.

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