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NJBIA recently conducted a virtual Taxation and Economic Development Policy Committee meeting hosted jointly by NJBIA and the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, where participants engaged in a comprehensive discussion on several bills recently signed by the governor as well as key legislative matters looking ahead to the upcoming lame-duck session. 

Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, Chair of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, and Senator Steven Oroho, who is retiring from the Legislature at the conclusion of the current session, served as guest speakers. 

In her remarks, Timberlake emphasized several priorities for the coming legislative session including finding innovative solutions to issues like breastfeeding in the workplace, addressing the childcare crisis, and seeking housing equity, each of which carries significant implications for workers throughout New Jersey.  

Additionally, Timberlake also warned the policy committee members that some legislators did not agree with Gov. Phil Murphy’s position to allow the temporary CBT surtax to sunset, and the business community should expect further debate on that issue.  

While NJBIA strongly disagreed with her position, we did appreciate her honesty and have remained vigilant to ensure New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation corporate taxes get reduced as promised. 

Oroho expressed support for the sunset of the current corporate business tax (CBT) surcharge in 2024, as well as hopes for further reductions to the state’s CBT, especially in recognition of the rate reductions underway in neighboring Pennsylvania. He also expressed a desire to see greater transparency within the Legislature and throughout the legislative process moving forward. 

Pennsylvania’s multi-year bipartisan CBT reduction efforts were explored further throughout the meeting, given their potential impact on New Jersey’s regional competitiveness. Among the points raised regarding a similar initiative in New Jersey, was the need for a balanced approach that aligns with the interests of businesses and the state’s broader economic landscape. 

Christopher Emigholz, Chief Government Affairs Officer at NJBIA, and Amirah Hussain, Director of Government Relations for the State Chamber, shared updates on several pieces of important legislation throughout the meeting. 

First among these items was A4090, a bill requiring the State Auditor to produce an annual user-friendly report summarizing the State’s Annual Financial Report, was signed into law by  Gov. Murphy in September. The bill underscores the importance of transparency and accessibility of critical financial information for the public. 

Additionally, attention was drawn to two bills sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, A3424 and A4751, which establish the “Annual Business Matchmaking Event” and a mentorship program for new businesses and start-ups, respectively. These initiatives were lauded for their potential to bolster small businesses and foster entrepreneurship within the state. 

Other highlighted legislation included S-332, relating to data privacy; S-3778, addressing the treatment of monopsony; S-2707/A-2487, enhancing the state’s Research and Development Tax Credit; and A-5664, establishing the “Community Wealth Preservation Program.”  

Participants also discussed the potential introduction of a Safe Harbor bill in 2024. This legislation would seek to streamline tax compliance for corporations with employees working across state lines, simplifying administrative burdens and enhancing the overall business climate in the state.