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NJBIA President and CEO Michele N. Siekerka Esq. issued the following statement today regarding the current lame duck session of New Jersey’s Legislature.

“NJBIA urges our lawmakers to hit the pause button on policies and mandates that add increased burdens on New Jersey businesses, both small and large, as legislators work on their priorities for the close of the current Legislative session.

“Over the past 20 months, business in New Jersey has been hit with a wide range of mandates and added costs that have only solidified our unfortunate standing as the state with the least-friendly business climate in the nation. This trend needs to reverse for the sake of New Jersey’s competitiveness and affordability.

“Before considering bills that will add more burdens on business, our policymakers should recognize their already established reliance on our job creators. A minimum wage increase, expanded mandatory paid sick leave, extended paid family leave, and an array of energy and other regulatory mandates have already been put into effect during this Legislative session, costing businesses more time and money.

“At the same time, New Jersey has increased its corporate business tax rate to become the second highest in the nation. Our state is also now 4-1/2 months without a tax incentive program, which is essential for us to compete, particularly given our negative business climate.

“Further, the Murphy administration’s pledge to build a ‘stronger and fairer economy’ and other Legislative priorities must consider the needs of the business community. Tax increases and costly workforce and regulatory mandates wipe out the profits that businesses rely on to update their equipment, produce innovative technologies, and create new jobs. Ignoring this reality creates economic policy that discourages business startups, consigns established companies to stagnation, and pushes smaller businesses to their breaking point.”