2022 New Jersey Women Business Leaders Forum Register

The aftershocks of Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision last week to torpedo a bill that would have provided much-needed payroll tax relief for small businesses reverberated in multiple media stories this week.

In ROI-NJ, Senator Vin Gopal – one of the sponsors of the bill that would have provided tax credits to offset some of the $1 billion unemployment tax increase – told Editor Tom Bergeron that despite Murphy’s 11th hour demand that the Senate take the bill off the board on July 29, he was optimistic that help would be coming in the near future.

“We’re going to try to work out a bill in September, which the Governor’s Office has said they’ll be receptive to working on,” Gopal said. “There’s still a lot of money (available) — and it doesn’t have to go through the budget process.

“I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of financial pieces done in September, October, November, December on a variety of things, as we have in past years.”

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz told Bergeron that Murphy’s decision to impose a $1 billion UI tax on business for a shutdown it did not create – and not use federal recovery dollars or tax credits to offset it – leaves another mark on the state’s already established anti-business reputation.

“This is a competitiveness issue, because the majority of states in the nation said, ‘We don’t want businesses to pay more taxes because of a pandemic; that wasn’t their fault,’” he said. “If you’re one of those states that doesn’t choose to do that, what are you telling businesses?”

On News 12, reporter Alex Zdan spoke to Robert Pluta, owner of Leonardo’s Restaurant in Lawrence Twp, said lawmakers need to do more to help small business, in light of the $1 billion UI tax without providing relief.

“As we small business owners are bussing tables, washing dishes, taking care of our customers – and [the governor] completely ignored the needs of us. He’s making it a very business-unfriendly state,” Pluta says.

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka told Zdan that “the business community is not feeling any love now, and it’s not fair.”

In another report on NJ Spotlight News, Siekerka explained to correspondent Joanna Gagis that the most recent UI tax increase on July 1– nearly $300 million – will result in an added UI tax of “$100 to a couple of hundreds of dollars on each and every job” for New Jersey businesses.

“This is not a tax on profit. It’s not a tax on sales. It’s a direct on the fact that a job exists,” she said.

Here are other media reports on the UI tax increase from the past week: