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New Jersey Business & Industry Association :Data Supports Need for Structural Reforms, No New Taxes

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Trenton NJ, Behind its continued call for no more taxes and for structural reforms as part of the FY2020 State Budget, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association today re-released its budget data from this year to further underscore why the Garden State desperately needs to reverse course.

“With less than two weeks remaining before the state’s budget deadline, it’s imperative that our policymakers fully understand New Jersey’s fiscal standing,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “New Jersey’s debt and pension obligations continue to escalate at unsustainable rates and the FY2019 State Budget alone forced $1.6 billion in higher taxes on our businesses and residents.

“NJBIA was encouraged to see nine Path to Progress bills released by committee last week, dealing mainly with cost-saving efficiencies through consolidation of services on the county, municipal, and school district levels,” Siekerka said. “However, it is time to comprehensively address our underfunded pensions and right-size public workers’ health benefit costs in New Jersey. Only through fiscal discipline can we make our state more competitive and affordable.”

NJBIA’s FY2020 Budget Toolkit, featuring several infographics, can be found here. Among NJBIA’s findings and analyses:

  • New Jersey’s pension liability and post-employment benefit obligation has grown to more than $151 billion.
  • If nothing is done to address these obligations, they will rise another $4.89 billion by 2023.
  • New Jersey’s long-term debt obligations have grown 382 percent over the last 10 years, while revenue has only grown 24%.
  • New Jersey has the highest top income tax rate (10.75%), highest Corporate Business Tax rate (11.5%), highest state sales tax (6.625%), and the highest property tax paid as a percentage of personal income (5%) in the region.
  • New Jersey has a net loss of nearly $25 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) between 2004 and 2016, and the trend continues at a rate of approximately $3 billion per year.

Additionally, in a joint NJBIA-Rutgers Eagleton poll released this spring:

  • 82% said they don’t get their money’s worth for the taxes they pay.
  • 81% are dissatisfied with how state government is handling affordability.
  • 65% support having state workers pay more toward their pensions and health benefits.

64% support reforming public employment health benefits to better resemble private health insurance plans.

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