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Chris Emigholz

Christopher Emigholz, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs

I hope you all enjoyed your Independence Day weekend and the start of summer, and I hope you, your families and your businesses are getting through this pandemic as well as possible.

Need Your Input on Working Draft of Combined Reporting Regulations:

NJBIA, through our strong partnership with Treasury, received a working draft of Treasury’s combined reporting regulations in accordance with their “Advance Notice of Rules” requirement. They asked for our informal comments on these proposed regulations before they officially publish them in the Register for 60-day public comment. Please review the proposed regulations and email me your comments by July 24, so that I can include them in NJBIA’s response. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to help shape the regulations before they are even proposed to the public.

One Budget Down, One to Go:

Last week on Tuesday, June 30, Governor Murphy signed the unique three-month budget bill, A-3 (Pintor Marin, D-29, Burzichelli, D-3)/S-20 (Sarlo, D-36, Cunningham, D-31) into law extending FY2020 an extra fifth quarter through September. The almost $8 billion appropriations plan pays for state operations in July, August and September until a new nine-month FY2021 budget law is needed by September 30.

This was necessary because at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis amidst uncertainty as to its impact on state finances, the annual April 15 tax deadlines were moved to July 15 and the annual state budget deadline of June 30 was moved to September 30.

The good news is that this three-month budget does not include any new taxes or borrowing.  The bad news is it does not cut spending as much as NJBIA has been advocating and defers billions of payments at the end of FY2020 to the very beginning of FY2021 making that already difficult budget even more challenging.

Learn more about NJBIA’s perspective on this short-term budget here and here, and be on the lookout for the Governor’s FY2021 proposal on August 25. And enjoy the quiet summer :-).

NJBIA-Supported Health Savings & Furlough Bills Also Now Law:

NJBIA has been advocating for spending cuts as a major part of the solution for balancing the budget challenges facing New Jersey as seen in this recent op-ed. Toward- that end, we have some good news.

On July 1, Governor Murphy signed a bill, S-2273 (Sweeney, D-3)/A-20 (Coughlin, D-19), to provide an estimated $700 million in property tax relief. This bill was the result of hard work and compromise by Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and NJBIA hopes that more savings from structural reforms will follow making the FY2021 budget process easier.

Governor Murphy also signed the furlough bill, A-4132 (Taliaferro, D-3, Downey, D-11)/S-2350 (Sweeney, D-3, Pou, D-35) into law last week. NJBIA was disappointed that this furlough bill did not become law weeks ago when it first passed the Legislature, because it could have saved more money by furloughing employees earlier. We still do appreciate the pursuit of any state budget savings, even if it should have been larger if done sooner. I would encourage any employer, public and private, considering furloughs to cut costs in this difficult economy, to learn more here.

Bad News on Restaurant Loan Bill:

NJBIA supported a bill, A-3959 (Mukherji, D-33, Huttle, D-37, Reynolds-Jackson,D-15)/S-2371 (Gopal, D-11, O’Scanlon, D-13), to create a $100 million EDA hospitality loan program to support businesses struggling in the pandemic, and we were disappointed to see it vetoed by Governor Murphy. This was especially troubling to the restaurant industry, which has been hit hard by New Jersey’s COVID-19 shutdown, because the veto happened on the same day Governor Murphy reversed his prior decision to begin allowing limited indoor dining. Businesses that have been closed or had operations limited by government for months need support, and the existing EDA programs are out of money. Hopefully another state program can be created to support shuttered businesses, or New Jersey can better utilize its federal funding to support them.

Please email me at cemigholz@njbia.org if you have any questions or want to weigh in on NJBIA’s advocacy on any of the above.

Thank you and I look forward to working with you to continue to help your business in these challenging times.

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