Statement on Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget by Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association
“Positioning New Jersey for the 21st century through improved education and better interaction between businesses and government to ensure a quality workforce, as well as commitments to better infrastructure and public transportation, are all good things for our state.
“But the pathway to that vision must be fiscally responsible and should not negatively impact New Jersey’s businesses and residents. Some of the revenue raisers in Governor Murphy’s address today gave us pause.
“A millionaires tax directly impacts small businesses that flow their income taxes through personal returns. Many of these business owners are not millionaires, but would be considered so under his proposal. We have long opposed the millionaires tax because it is an added tax against people who provide jobs and will exacerbate our standing as the No. 1 outmigration state in the nation.
“New Jersey now has a net loss of nearly $25 billion in adjusted gross income over the last 12 years as businesses and residents gravitate to states that are more tax-friendly, such as Pennsylvania and New York, our top two outmigration states. We would expect the enactment of a millionaires tax to further this negative trend.
“Additionally, today’s budget address was not the only sign of increased costs to New Jersey businesses. There are already multiple legislative efforts to add more to the already high cost of doing business here – including an increase in corporate business taxes, a mandated increase to a $15 minimum wage, mandated paid sick leave, a bill to subsidize the state’s nuclear plants and renewable energy programs, and a return to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program.
“To date, there has been no recognition by our policymakers of the cumulative impacts of these proposed costs to businesses, nor has there been any acknowledgment that these added costs will ultimately be handed down to the customers, ratepayers and residents of New Jersey.
“We were encouraged by last month’s announcements of a State Tax Policy Review Working Group as well as the Jobs and Economic Growth Council. Because New Jersey is at a critical juncture, with many businesses and residents unable to afford to live and work here, NJBIA supports allowing the work of these groups to advance comprehensive recommendations through a thorough process of stakeholder engagement and vetting.
“It is only through a fair process that we can truly achieve a fair result. We look forward to working with the governor and our policymakers on making a more competitive and affordable New Jersey.”