Monmouth senator explains votes on bills

We have just wrapped up our budget season, the first for me as a state senator. We
were committed to passing a responsible budget by deadline, in keeping with our obligation as your legislators, and ultimately I am pleased we produced a strong budget that reflects our priorities and the interests of our residents.

I firmly believe increasing taxes here in New Jersey should be a last resort. That is
why I voted against several taxes which I believe hurt the hard-working middle class families in our district. These include the Airbnb tax (A1753), Uber tax (A4061), the plastic bag tax (A3267/S2600) and a new sales tax. New Jersey residents already shoulder a tremendous burden when it comes to taxes. We, as a state, should not be adding these new taxes.

I also led the effort in the Senate in opposing and stopping the Senate Leadership’s
proposal of a shore rental tax. The shore is central to New Jersey’s $44 billion tourism
industry, drawing millions of visitors each summer. An added tax on shore rentals only serves as a deterrent to vacationers, who could easily choose another state in which to spend their summer.

Without a healthy and viable tourism industry, countless shore communities will collapse. As soon as this tax was introduced by my own party, I met repeatedly with legislative leadership and I am pleased the proposal was taken off the table.

While corporations are receiving enormous tax breaks from the federal government, our
focus should be on having these massive organizations pay their fair share from the tax breaks they got from the federal government – not adding new taxes on hard-working New Jersey families.

Rather than turning to increased taxes, we need to find creative, innovative means of
raising the funding we need to provide residents with the services they need. Consolidation, cutting costs and responsible spending should all be considered before asking New Jerseyans to hand over more of their hard-earned money.

I am proud to serve as your state senator and I am here to fight for you, the residents,
to ensure your voice is heard at home and in Trenton. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth)
Freehold Borough

Editor’s note: District 11, represented by Gopal, consists of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.