NJ Taxpayers Might Have to Shell Out $350 Million Bill for Hike in Health Care


Bloomberg News reports that a 20% hike in New Jersey’s public workers’ health care expenses has kept the lawmakers awed. They have also criticized a potential bill of $350 million to the homeowners that already make payments for the highest property taxes in the country. 

Unfortunately, this increase for the retirees and employees was not divulged by the Treasury when they had come to the forefront at the beginning of this year at the time of the budget. Democratic Senator Paul Sarlo, the budget chairman, stated this. 

Sarlo stated that, at the moment, it had been put to the backs of the local unions and the municipalities, including the firefighters, police, and sanitation workers. Sarlo is the Wood-Ridge mayor as well. He made this statement at the time of the committee hearing at Trenton. 

September 2022 situation

In September, the state worker unions announced a deal that had capped the hike in the contribution of the workers to their premium at 3%, and the state picked up the remaining hike in rate. The ones that work for the counties and the towns face $350 million towards higher costs beginning next year, as per the New Jersey Association of Counties, a lobbying group. 

Bloomberg News reports that the average property tax bill of New Jersey last year was found to hit a record $9,284. The higher prosperous taxes that are usually paying for the schools, miscellaneous services, and the local government are New Jersey’s largest complaint as far as the public opinion polls are concerned. 

On Thursday, Republican state senators, including Steve Oroho and Declan O’ Scanlon, criticized Phil Murphy, the Governor, a democrat whose term for the second time started in January, for what they revealed is due to the absence of transparency about the local costs. 

Last year, state Treasury officials tried to recover $34 million as per a contract dispute with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, an insurer. However, Murphy’s office under pressure stalled an internal complaint against this insurer, as reported by Bloomberg News in June. Although Murphy said he did not interrupt, the insurer disputed the state’s allegations that Horizon had violated the contract. The September surprise rate hike led to public worker unions’ outcry. 

News source: Bloomberg

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