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NJBIA President and CEO Michele N. Siekerka Esq. issued the following statement regarding Governor Murphy’s proposed FY 2020 budget today.

“NJBIA appreciates Governor Murphy’s efforts to prepare a FY 2020 state budget that is fiscally sound, drives economic growth and makes investments in New Jersey’s future.

 “We also appreciate the Governor’s efforts to offer significant healthcare savings in this budget, as we and others have advocated, to bring more fiscal responsibility to our state. However, this proposed budget also adds nearly an equal amount of spending. It increases New Jersey’s overall budget by 3.2 percent compared to last fiscal year and 11.2 percent from FY 2018.

“To balance this additional spending, Governor Murphy again looks to increase taxes on an already overtaxed state. Today’s proposal will not improve the outlook for New Jersey businesses, which saw tax increases and a wave of costly mandates over the past year that collectively strike hard at profit margins and overall competitiveness. 

“In addition, lowering the threshold for the top gross income tax rate will continue to encourage the outmigration of wealth from the state. New Jersey has a net loss of nearly $25 billion in adjusted gross income over the last 12 years of available data. This will continue if more individuals have to pay a top income tax rate, which ranks as the third highest in the nation, and the highest in our region.

Further, this budget proposal will continue the path of ever-increasing, long-term debt obligation. This obligation has grown 382 percent over the past 10 years while revenues have only grown 23 percent. We can no longer wait to take a broader view at top-line reforms, as articulated in the New Jersey Economic & Fiscal Policy Workgroup’s Path to Progress report. 

“With a reform agenda that comprehensively addresses underfunded pensions and right-sizing health benefit costs, and allows for no new taxes, New Jersey can begin to escape from the obstacles holding our great state back. It is only through fiscal discipline that we can give New Jersey what it needs most at this crucial hour – a strategy that makes our obligations more affordable and an increase in opportunities to grow our economy through sound investment.”