Assembly Budget Committee Chair Eliana Pintor Marin

Assembly Budget Committee Chairwoman Eliana Pintor Marin said she personally wouldn’t favor increasing taxes on the business community to plug holes in the next state budget, noting businesses are already struggling to provide the jobs New Jersey residents need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now more than ever we need business and we need businesses to stay on and employ people,” said at the virtual meeting Wednesday of the NJBIA/State Chamber of Commerce Taxation and Economic Development Policy Committee. “I don’t even think we should be talking about taxing you guys.”

The Assembly Budget Committee is scheduled Thursday to hear directly from State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio, who issued an update late last week on the state’s financial situation and the steep revenue losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy. Muoio forecast a $2.7 billion shortfall in FY 2020 and a $7.2 billion shortfall for the nine-month budget ending June 30, 2021.

Marin said she didn’t expect to hear too many surprises in the state treasurer’s testimony on Thursday.

“Based on the analysis she sent out, we know that for the closing of this year we’re going to be OK in the in the sense that we’re going to be able use some of the remaining money in the fund,” Marin said, referring to the governor’s plan to transfer $421 million from the Rainy Day Fund to the FY20 General Fund to balance the budget, which has been extended this year to end on Sept. 30.

The nine-month FY 2021 budget that covers Oct. 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 will be the challenge, she said.

“It’s no secret that we’re going to have to borrow money,” Marin said. “I don’t have all the intricacies of the bill yet,” she said, adding the details were still be worked out with the Murphy administration. Her committee expects to review the borrowing bill on Monday, she said.

Marin said the amount of borrowing will ultimately depend on how much federal aid the state receives and what the state budget situation looks like once tax revenues come in during July.  The state extended its normal April 15 tax filing deadline until July 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so more will also be known when those annual income and corporate business tax revenues come in then.

3 responses to “Assembly Budget Chair Reluctant to Raise Taxes on Business”

  1. Thomas says:

    Instead of thinking first about businesses to cough up more, why doesn’t the Assembly do its job and recognize spending needs to be trimmed? Make the choices for reality, review discretionary and entitlement spending. At the very least, for each dollar sought in new taxes, cut one from discretionary spending AND one from entitlement.

    As it is, businesses are going to struggle over the next 18 months as they climb out of the lockdown hole. It’s an obstacle that was unforeseen; and lasted longer than most challenges businesses prepare for in their annual operating plans.

    • Ron says:

      As is often if not always the case in New Jersey, the state government immediately seeks to place the responsibility of making up budget shortfalls on the backs of the state’s employers. It would seem that the state leadership is convinced that business owners are sitting on piles of unused cash when, truth be known, quite the opposite is true. Business owners in New Jersey are already famously overburdened with egregious money grabs which come at them from every angle in the forms of exorbitant taxes, fees, insurance rates and a myriad of other ways to drain any reserves that they might hope to set aside.
      It is refreshing that at least one leader is hesitant to continue that long held tradition.

  2. Bill Castle says:

    Bill,
    As a business owner, raising taxes on business is going to mean having less businesses to tax in the future. Plus, more unemployment. Our elected officials have to start becoming more realistic. Maybe start by reducing our officials income by 10% and reducing their perks to be more in line with the working public.