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Ways to Keep Millennials in NJ

Reducing taxes, bringing more businesses to New Jersey and building affordable housing were cited as the main reasons to help millennials (generally categorized as those born between 1981 to 2000) stay in New Jersey by 975 respondents in a New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) survey conducted of members in March.

When asked what idea would have the biggest impact on keeping millennials in the state, 34 percent of the respondents cited reducing taxes (property, business, etc.) as the main reason millennials would stay, while 16 percent said bringing more businesses to the state would help and 14 percent recommended building more affordable housing, including lower rent. Respondents were asked to rank the top three things that would keep millennials from leaving New Jersey.

Respondents also noted that redeveloping urban areas could assist in making the state more appealing. Almost 90 percent of millennials today live in metro areas, according to a June 2017 article in Governing magazine.

Other ideas included improving and decreasing the cost of mass transit, such as bridges and tunnels; doing a better job of marketing the state and communities, including South Jersey; making New Jersey colleges more affordable, such as offering free county college enrollment for state residents; encouraging millennials to open small businesses; increasing technology jobs, in particular; creating more open space park land; creating better student loan interest rates; and legalizing marijuana for business opportunities.

Out of the approximate 250 millennials who participated in the survey, 35 percent prioritized reducing taxes as the number-one way to keeping millennials in the state. Building more affordable housing was selected by 21 percent of respondents, and improving mass transit was cited by 11 percent.

“Keeping millennials, as well as other at-risk age groups such as retirees, from leaving New Jersey would be a boon to businesses of all kinds,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA. “More needs to be done to assist millennials in thinking of New Jersey as a viable place to live, and for businesses to keep hiring.”

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