NJBIA's Public Policy Forum: The Road to Recovery REGISTER

New Jersey Business & Industry Association President and CEO Michele Siekerka joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business News’ Varney & Co. on May 25 to discuss increased taxes and their impacts on small business, taxpayers and ratepayers in New Jersey.

The main message from Siekerka: New Jersey policymakers need to hit the pause button on new taxes and recognize the cumulative consequences of new revenue raisers combined with recently signed and proposed legislation that will greatly increasing the cost of doing business in the Garden State.

“We’re not planning,” Siekerka told Varney. “We should be focusing on comprehensive reform to fix things that are structurally broken in the state of New Jersey.”

Varney forecasted a “mass exodus” from New Jersey when adding on the impacts of new federal tax reform, where Siekerka concurred New Jersey was a “net loser.”

“We’ve just studied regional competitiveness,” Siekerka said. “We should be able to compete within our region. So we studied seven states within our region on six business taxes and we came dead last – seven out of seven. We’re the worst tax climate in the nation.”

Still, Siekerka insisted she was “bullish on New Jersey” and seeing the glass “half full,” despite a litany of increased costs to business, which includes newly passed paid sick leave, nuclear subsidy and clean energy laws, and considerations of a mandated $15 minimum wage, expanded family leave and New Jersey’s return to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

“These are billions of dollars in new costs to New Jersey ratepayers and taxpayers,” she said. “We need to take a pause on this and step back and understand the cumulative impact in dollars on today’s taxpayer.”

View Siekerka’s full conversation with Varney