Trump congratulates New Jersey lawmakers for balking at a tax increase on millionaires

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday congratulated New Jersey’s Democratic-led legislature for passing a budget that did not include a proposal by Gov. Phil Murphy to raise taxes on millionaires – a move Trump claimed would have driven high earners from the state.

In subsequent tweets, he complained about how “ridiculously high” taxes are hurting his children and businesses in New York.

Murphy, a Democrat, was seeking to raise additional revenue by increasing the top marginal rate paid by those making more than $1 million from 8.97% to 10.75%. Fellow Democrats, who control both chambers of the state legislature, balked at the move. On Sunday, Murphy signed a budget bill without the provision.

“Congratulations to legislators in New Jersey for not passing taxes that would have driven large numbers of high end taxpayers out of the state,” Trump said in a tweet on Monday morning. “Many were planning to leave, & will now be staying.”

Murphy responded in kind later Monday, writing on Twitter: “We all know @realDonaldTrump is fighting for millionaires like himself. I’m fighting for New Jersey’s middle class and all those working to get there.”

New Jersey was facing a government shutdown if the budget was not finalized by Sunday.

In remarks after Murphy signed the bill, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, criticized his push for a tax increase.

“Is the governor not going to be satisfied until we have the highest tax burden in the nation?” Sweeney asked.

In tweets about an hour and a half later, Trump turned his attention to New York, which is home to the Trump Organization and where several of his adult children live.

“It is very hard and expensive to live in New York,” wrote Trump, who was born and has lived most of his life in New York.

He preceded to complain about an investigation into his now-defunct charitable foundation and claimed that the state attorney general was harassing “all of my New York businesses in search of anything at all they can find to make me look as bad as possible.”

“So, on top of ridiculously high taxes, my children and companies are spending a fortune on lawyers,” Trump said. “No wonder people and businesses are fleeing New York in record numbers!”

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