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“The question needs to be asked: If we’re continuing to overtax our residents and businesses during an economic upswing, what will happen during an eventual economic downturn?

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

NJBIA Statement on State Revenue Announcements

New Jersey Business & Industry Association President and CEO Michele N.Siekerka, Esq. today issued the following statement on state revenue announcements by the state Office of Legislative Services and Treasury.

“The state tax collections announced today are encouraging, but not necessarily surprising considering the strength of the national economy, coupled with a Corporate Business Tax rate increase last year that is now second highest in the nation and is bringing in record receipts for the state.
“What is surprising, in light of this windfall, is the continued call for even more taxation as part of the FY 2020 budget proposal. Clearly, this additional revenue is more justification to not increase the Gross Income Tax rate on those making over $1 million, as proposed, as it will further hurt our competitiveness in the region.

Continue reading “The question needs to be asked: If we’re continuing to overtax our residents and businesses during an economic upswing, what will happen during an eventual economic downturn?
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NJBIA Analysis Shows New Jersey Dead Last in Regional Business Climate Competitiveness

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May 3,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, With New Jersey’s legislature weighing new tax hikes during budget season, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association released an analysis today that finds the Garden State already ranked last in the region for business climate competitiveness.

“This analysis should serve as an opportunity to reclaim our competitiveness and to improve the state’s economy through comprehensive planning, not excessive taxation,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “There is no better time than now to recognize the growing challenges of doing business in New Jersey and our competitive disadvantage with neighboring states.”

NJBIA tracked six individual business costs—minimum wage rate, top income tax rate, top corporate tax rate, sales tax rate, property taxes as a percentage of home value, and the top unemployment tax rate – and compared New Jersey’s rates with those of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

Applying a scoring system to the most and least competitive regional rates, New Jersey finished last of the seven states by a considerable margin.

New Jersey currently ranks last out of all states in the region in top income tax rate (8.97 percent), sales tax rate (6.625 percent) and property tax paid as a percentage of home value (2.16 percent). New Jersey is also sixth out of seven states in top corporate tax rate (9 percent). The Garden State has the third lowest minimum wage rate in the region at $8.60 per hour and, more positively, has the lowest top unemployment tax rate in the region of 5.8 percent.

However, it’s foreseeable that New Jersey’s overall regional business climate could further decline with discussions of a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, proposals to raise the top income tax rate for those making more than $1 million, and consideration of a Corporate Business Tax increase. These are in addition to the added costs brought on by the mandatory paid sick leave bill signed into law and the proposed sales tax increase to 7 percent.

“It’s important to recognize that New Jersey businesses are already paying their fair share when it comes to tax rates and the additional cumulative costs that are being discussed and proposed could result in stagnation of our businesses, reduced staffing and hours or automation, according to our members,” Siekerka said. “We need tax and regulatory reform to address structural deficits in our economy, such as public pension and health benefits costs, and school funding. We cannot tax our way out of these challenges.”

Using data compiled by NJBIA policy analyst Nicole Sandelier, NJBIA scored the regional rates from 1 (most competitive in the region) to 7 (least competitive). New Jersey’s cumulative regional business climate score was 31 after totaling the six rates. Delaware has the best regional score at 17, followed closely by Maryland at 20. Pennsylvania (23) and New York (24), New Jersey’s largest outmigration states, finished third and fourth, respectively.

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Millennials are leaving Garden State at a faster clip than any other group; that’s a concern for business groups, who want to keep them here

Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, addresses conference on millennials and the state workforce.

Last year, the size of the nation’s millennial generation grew enough to top baby boomers and become the largest of the five living generations. But in New Jersey, business leaders are tracking a different trend as millennials have been leaving the state at a higher rate than other groups.

The loss of millennials is not only a waste of taxpayer investment in their K-12 education, but there are also concerns that it could be having a broader impact on a state economy that has taken several years to fully recover from the Great Recession.

That’s caused business leaders to begin talking about ways to keep New Jersey’s millennials from leaving the state in the first place, as well as doing things to attract millennials from other states as they launch their careers, and as more and more boomers here reach retirement age.

“It’s a challenge that is screaming out for some attention and some solutions,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. The NJBIA hosted a daylong conference in East Windsor yesterday on the issue of millennials and the state workforce.