New Jersey child tax credit signed into law, GOP wants more tax reform

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) suggested that lawmakers index tax brackets to account for historic inflation rates.

New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton

New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law a child tax credit that will benefit families filing taxes next spring.

State lawmakers passed the tax credit in June, during the annual budget process, but an error in the bill’s language would have delayed its implementation until the 2023 taxable year.

Murphy signed an amended version of the bill that will provide benefits based on 2022 income, after state lawmakers, fresh off of their summer recess, passed updated legislation.

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Some advocacy groups have said the rush to fix the mistake highlights the hurried nature of New Jersey’s annual budget process.

Republican lawmakers in both houses of the Legislature said they want to enact more far-reaching tax reform.

At a voting session on Monday, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) suggested that lawmakers repeal the child tax credit and substitute it with a more fleshed-out alternative.

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Webber recommended lawmakers consider updating tax brackets to account for inflation and eliminating the “marriage penalty” for couples who file taxes jointly.

“We’re facing eight-and-a-half percent inflation. We’re facing a winter where energy bills are going to be through the roof. Gas bills are still high. We’re entering a recession. Let’s act now to get more money back to the people in the state of New Jersey,” Webber said on the Assembly floor on Monday.

Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer) said Republican attempts to add further amendments would have further delayed the tax credit.

“The changes we are proposing [Monday] is the only legislation that will ensure New Jerseyans see a tax relief this year,” Reynolds-Jackson said.

The child tax credit is a refundable income tax credit for up to $500 per child for families making $80,000 or less.

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