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Cost Increases to New Jersey’s Benefits Plans Are a Priority for Mayor Armstead, Who Challenges Governor Phil Murphy

NJ-LINDEN Mayor Derek Armstead wrote to Linden residents about the New Jersey Health Benefits plan pricing increases and his challenge to Governor Phil Murphy.
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I must inform everyone of something vital.

New Jersey’s governor’s outrageous New Jersey Health Benefits Plan cost hike should be publicized. State employees will pay 3% more under the existing plan, but municipalities will pay 22.
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8% more. Linden’s $3,292,054 annual increase is unacceptable.

I called Ask the Governor, a monthly live show on News 12 New Jersey, at 3 pm on December 21, 2022, to ask the Governor why local taxpayers should shoulder the large increase in municipal contributions to the New Jersey Health Benefits Plan.

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Unfortunately, I was cut off from the live conversation and unable to respond to the Governor’s false claims.

New Jersey municipalities will likely raise property taxes to cover the 22.8% rise, which may also lead to a record number of layoffs and hiring freezes.

This rise impacts all New Jersey homeowners and renters, not just Linden. Property owners must raise rent to meet new financial needs when property taxes rise.

I need your support to address this crisis without the State’s help. My finance team and I are working 24/7! If you have time, please contact the Governor’s office by going here, selecting “Taxation” from the Topic dropdown, “Property Tax” from the “Select a sub-topic” option, and pasting the following italicized text into their contact form message area. My November 2022 letter to the Governor is italicized below.

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Linden inhabitant here. The State Health Benefits Commission’s announcement that municipalities’ health benefit premiums will rise 25% is inexplicable. Linden residents will be devastated by a one-year health benefit premium hike.

The City’s costs and the County’s trickle-down rise will hurt me and my neighbors. Linden residents cannot afford the Commission’s decision.

The approximately 23% health premium rise with a 2% margin represents a $3,300,000.00 tax increase for our residents. Linden is a laborious town.

This multimillion-dollar burden will cost Linden households 12.5 tax points, plus a County increase, with an average property assessed value of $132,683.00. We cannot decrease services with police and fire emergency calls up roughly 10% in 2022 over 2021.

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City health benefits increases are unsustainable. I urge your Office to urge the Commission to renegotiate affordable and sustainable rate plan premiums on behalf of me and my fellow neighbors. Thank you!


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