A note from Murphy — with a favorite slogan — will accompany $500 rebate checks

07/01/2021

Politico

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, faces Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former member of the General Assembly, in November and is heavily favored to win a second term.

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Gov. Phil Murphy’s name won’t be on the $500 rebate checks hundreds of thousands of New Jersey households will receive this summer, months ahead of his reelection race. But it will be on a note accompanying the checks — along with some language similar to his campaign’s.

“With the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, I signed into law a middle-class tax rebate for New Jersey families,” reads text that will accompany the check, according to a mock-up provided by the governor’s office. “By asking those at the very top to pay their fair share, we are able to provide tax relief to working families. I want to recognize legislative leadership and legislators in both chambers for their tremendous partnership.

“New Jersey is built on the hard work of our middle class,” it reads. “This rebate shows that when you make New Jersey fairer, we make New Jersey stronger — and everyone benefits.”

Murphy often uses the phrase “stronger and fairer” both in his official and campaign communications. “Working to make New Jersey stronger and fairer as Governor,” reads the description on his campaign’s Twitter account.

Rebate checks will go out, starting Friday, to households with incomes of less than $150,000 and one child, or to single parents with incomes of $75,000 or less.

The note that will accompany the checks reminds voters of Murphy’s long and ultimately successful push to raise the tax rate on incomes of over $1 million — something he struggled to get through the Legislature but which has long polled well.

Murphy, a Democrat, faces Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former member of the General Assembly, in November and is heavily favored to win a second term. Murphy was asked last week whether his name would appear on the rebate checks but said he had not make a decision.

Murphy would not be the first politician — or even New Jersey governor — to ensure his name is on or near a check sent out to constituents in an election year.

Last year, the Internal Revenue Service printed then-President Donald Trump’s name on rebate checks. In 1977, New Jersey Gov. Brendan Byrne put his name on homestead rebate checks shortly before his own election. That was also the last time a Democrat was reelected as governor in New Jersey.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-07-04 05:03:28 -0700