“I was taken aback when Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leadership presented their agreement on so-called middle-class tax relief,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka says in an op-ed published this morning in ROI-NJ.
It’s easy to understand why. This year’s budget was supposed to be a huge problem because of all of the revenue the state has lost during the coronavirus business lockdown. But the new budget actually increases spending, creates new programs like the tax rebate, and puts taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in annual debt services payments to fund things like a record high budget surplus.
“So the debacle that is the FY21 budget comes down to this: Tax relief in New Jersey can only come when there’s increased spending, needless borrowing and higher taxes,” she wrote. “What am I missing?
“At the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, we submit that real tax relief can be found when fixing what’s structurally broken and making New Jersey more affordable. We have been proud to support the proposals found in the Path to Progress report over the past two years, which would go much further than the tax rebate gimmick accepted by the majority of our policymakers.”