NJBIA will appear before the Assembly and Senate budget committees on Wednesday afternoon to testify on the scheduled introduction of amore than $53 billion state budget, which needs full legislative approval and the governor’s signature before the start of the 2024 fiscal year on July 1.
The Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee were scheduled to meet separately at 3 p.m. in Trenton. NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz and Vice President of Government Affairs Althea D. Ford intend to testify that NJBIA is pleased that the spending plan does not derail the scheduled sunset of the 2.5% surcharge on the Corporation Business Tax on Dec. 31, which will lower New Jersey’s highest in the nation CBT from 11.5% to 9%.
The NJBIA Government Affairs team also will commend the fiscally responsible budget policies the budget sets, the pro-growth economic spending investments it makes, and lawmakers’ decision to restore the Energy Receipts Tax dollars to municipalities to help hold down local property taxes.
However, NJBIA will express concern about the proposed budget’s lack of tax relief for small businesses, which face an estimated $300 million increase in unemployment insurance payroll taxes on July 1. The Murphy administration chose not to allocate federal COVID-19 relief dollars to help replenish the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust fund, which was drained after the state-ordered shutdown of nonessential businesses caused soaring unemployment at the start of the pandemic.
New Jersey businesses are also excluded from property tax relief under the new ANCHOR rebate program, which is reserved exclusively for residential homeowners and renters, even though businesses pay nearly half of all local property taxes collected in the state.
NJBIA will also express concerns about rapid state spending growth in recent budgets, which may not be sustainable in the years ahead without future tax increases. The $53.1 billion budget proposal for FY24 that Governor Murphy sent to the Legislature earlier this year was 5% higher than the current FY23 budget and 50% higher than six years ago.
On the positive side, NJBIA will testify that New Jersey businesses appreciate the fiscally responsible moves in the FY24 budget, including a third consecutive full payment of more than $7 billion to the state’s underfunded pension system, increased funding of public schools, more funding for debt defeasance and prevention, and setting aside a healthy surplus.
NJBIA also will commend the budget’s pro-growth investments in the areas of innovation, workforce development and infrastructure that will help New Jersey businesses and our economy.