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Nearly 55% of the more than 300 certified public accountants (CPAs) surveyed by the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) said that Gov. Phil Murphy’s $48.9 billion proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year will leave the state’s economy either marginally worse or significantly worse over the long term.

This compares with 24% who believed it would stay the same and more than 20% who thought it would make the state’s economic situation better.

A graphic of the results can be found here.

Gov. Murphy’s proposed budget called for increased school funding; expanded rebate programs for certain renters and homeowners; more affordable housing and assistance for undocumented residents; as well as to prop up the state’s transportation network and spend more on healthcare, but no new taxes.

The survey, taken after the Governor’s budget address on March 8, showed that most respondents believed he should have focused more on an overhaul of the public worker pension system, reducing the size of New Jersey’s municipalities and school districts through shared services and permanent relief of real estate tax burdens as opposed to rebates.

When asked what Gov. Murphy should do with the unspent federal pandemic-relief funding his administration received, respondents said the highest priority should be investing in infrastructure improvements, followed by immediate relief to homeowners and tenants and replenishing the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

“Surveys like this provide great insight into the mindset of New Jersey’s business community as CPAs serve a variety of businesses throughout all industries,” added Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA, CEO and executive director at the NJCPA. “Most recently, they have been the ones helping to keep these businesses afloat, which is why their input is so valuable.”