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Already Among Nation’s Most Indebted States, NJ Hits New Record

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

May 27, 2022 |

New Jersey’s bonded debt went up by nearly $4 billion during the last fiscal year, marking the first net increase in borrowing to occur during Gov. Phil Murphy’s tenure.

The new official accounting of how much the state owes its bondholders — a sum of $48.2 billion as of June 30, 2021 — was included in a comprehensive financial audit for the 2021 fiscal year released earlier this (last) week.

NJ SEED: It has generally accepted that some bonded indebtedness to finance long term projects such as infrastructure is sound fiscal policy. In 2021 the administration and legislature authorized election-year borrowing of nearly $4 billion without voter approval. There was fear that the pandemic would cause a significant budget shortfall. Actually tax revenue surged, but the state cannot pay off or pay down the $4 billion debt because Treasury issued bonds that cannot be redeemed early.

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