ASBURY PARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 03: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delivers a victory speech to supporters at Grand Arcade at the Pavilion on November 3, 2021 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Murphy's narrow victory over Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli makes him the first Democratic New Jersey governor in more than four decades to win reelection. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Governor Phil Murphy is a happy man. The governor and legislative Democrats agreed to a $50.6 billion budget for the state of New Jersey, and the plan is expected to move swiftly through the State Senate and Assembly so Murphy could sign it before Thursday’s midnight deadline.

According to NJ.com, the plan begins Friday, and features “the largest surplus in state history and several affordability measures, including a new $2 billion property tax relief initiative, a state-level child tax credit program, drivers license fee waivers, free state parks, and a 10-day sales tax holiday on back-to-school supplies that go into effect later this summer.”

Moreover the new budget sees an overall increase of nine percent over the current fiscal year’s budget, once COVID-relief and tax revenues are calculated.

According to PATCH.com, Murphy and the legislature plan to replace the Homestead rebate with Β the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Tax Relief Program. What would that mean for residents with a household income of less than $150,000? They will see a rebate of $1,500. That is expected to affect 870,000 homes at a cost of $1.31 billion.

Of course the budget has split along party lines with Democrats praising the budget’s role in creating tax relief, while Republicans have questioned the transparency in the process and whether it provides enough relief to struggling homeowners.