POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Guadagno talks taxes, bashes Murphy at campaign event

BY Briana Vannozzi, Correspondent |

There was less emphasis on Kim Guadagno’s actual tax proposals and a whole lot more on those of her opponent, Democrat Phil Murphy, at a campaign event on Thursday.

“He’s going to increase the sales tax. He said so. He’s going to reinstate the death tax. He said so. He’s going to increase your income taxes. He said so. And he’s going to increase your business taxes. He said so,” Guadagno said.

The Republican gubernatorial hopeful has made lowering taxes, specifically for New Jersey property owners, the crux of her campaign. Reporters expecting to hear new proposals outlined today were instead given another round on Guadagno’s proposed “circuit breaker” initiative. It caps the school tax portion of homeowners’ bills.

“I have a plan to fix the problem. You should never have to pay more than five percent of your household income for your school property taxes. Simple as that,” Guadagno said.

The press conference was held in New Milford, which is part of Bergen County, where the average property tax bill would be slashed by $2,700 under Guadagno’s plan. One by one, legislators from the district took their own swipes at the Democratic opponent.

“If we let Phil [Murphy] get in and institute the taxes he plans on instituting on business, we’re going to have a procession of businesses leaving North Jersey and leaving New Jersey in general,” Assemblyman Robert Auth said.

One of those businesses getting a lot of chatter lately is Amazon. The online behemoth is scouting a new home for its second North American headquarters. The deal comes with 50,000 jobs. Guadagno was quick to point out her history with the retailer — she helped usher in more than 13,000 full time employees attached to fulfillment centers and other operations, with three new projects in the works.

“If we go to the $15 minimum wage, if we increase the property tax, business tax, and cost of doing business in New Jersey, as Phil Murphy hasn’t only promised, but said he will do, not only will we lose any ability to compete for the new Amazon project, I fear for the projects we have in the works right now,” Guadagno said.

Requests for proposals are out to all 21 counties. Guadagno says she’s already spoken to at least two dozen developers.

A new Quinnipiac polls puts Phil Murphy at a 25 percent lead over Kim Guadagno. Though for her part, the lieutenant governor says she doesn’t put much stock in polls. She added that when people start paying attention to her pocketbook issues those numbers will change.

“If Phil Murphy becomes the governor of the state of New Jersey, the only person who will be able to afford to live here would be Phil Murphy,” said Guadagno.

The campaign continues with less than two months to go.