At the Statehouse, policymakers have been rallying around calls to make New Jersey more affordable for residents and businesses. We are already seeing legislative progress on important bills that will make New Jersey more affordable for businesses – the state’s job-creators who are essential to our economic recovery after COVID-19.
One of the first bills to pass the Senate under the leadership of the new senate president, Nicholas Scutari, would distribute $330 million in additional relief to municipalities over the next two years from the Energy Tax Fund, and require that money to be used to reduce the local property tax levy.
NJBIA is fighting to get Senate bill S-330 across the finish line to the governor’s desk because for many small businesses, the property tax is the biggest tax they pay. In fact, New Jersey businesses pay $14.9 billion in property taxes each year – nearly half of the $31.7 billion in total local property taxes collected statewide.
While Gov. Phil Murphy’s $48.9 billion budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year includes a new $900 million property tax relief program for homeowners and renters, there is no direct property tax relief for businesses. This makes passage of S-330 even more critical for our businesses, who pay the same highest-in-the-nation property taxes as New Jersey homeowners.
This state lost nearly one-third of its small businesses during the height of the pandemic. One way to help the businesses that survived is passage of Senate bill, S-733, which would reduce a looming $1 billion increase in unemployment insurance (UI) payroll taxes employers face over the next three years.
While the governor has declined to use pandemic relief funds to replenish the state’s UI Trust Fund, this legislation would save New Jersey businesses more than $330 million in UI taxes by halting the increase in columns that determine payroll tax rates. Let’s remember this is a tax on jobs. Taxing jobs slows job-creation and impedes the state’s economic recovery.
If there was ever a time to deliver tax relief, it’s now when the state budget is flush with cash due to billions of dollars in surplus tax revenue and unspent federal pandemic relief aid.
NJBIA supports the investments the governor is proposing in FY23 for education, debt reduction, and full public employee pension funding to address New Jersey’s affordability challenges. However, New Jersey must be affordable for businesses too, so that they can grow, create new jobs, and sustain this state’s economic recovery.
Let’s ensure that during the budget process ahead, we provide New Jersey businesses with the shot in the arm they need, not a swing and a miss.
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