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NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz delivered his testimony on the FY22 State Budget to the Assembly Budget Committee on Wednesday, lauding its inclusion of no new tax taxes and a full pension payment, but cautioning about the sustainability of New Jersey’s rate of spending.

Headshot of Christopher Emigholz

Chris Emigholz, Vice President

“The record $44.8 billion budget proposal provides policymakers an opportunity to “put their money where their mouth is,” Emigholz said, by targeting spending on pro-business initiatives that increase New Jersey’s value proposition. 

“With a budget as flush with cash as this year is, it is important, beyond preparing for next year’s fiscal cliff, to expand on New Jersey’s pro-business investments to make our state attractive for business,” Emigholz said. 

For New Jersey to get more bang for its buck beyond the innovation and infrastructure spending that’s already part of the budget, Emigholz offered the following recommendations to the committee: 

  • More funding for workforce development programs 

Said Emigholz: “NJBIA is partnering with our county colleges to request budget language to ensure that millions of dollars in federal relief funds go to the new Pathway and Skills Collaboratives, Centers for Excellence in key industries, and the recovery and reskilling of the pandemic’s displaced workers.  

“The Association and county colleges are also seeking a new law and budget language to ensure that at least $3 million goes to the very successful Basic Skills Workforce Training Program that has trained tens of thousands of New Jerseyans.  

“That program has benefited from off-budget funding in past years at well over a million dollars annually, and that has come from a fund with a recurring surplus. Now that it is needed more than ever during this economic downturn that has hurt the very people that need basic skills training the most, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development has cut the training program’s funding.  

“In addition, the State needs to invest in workforce development programs for our healthcare employers who struggle to fund employees and are stressed more than ever during this pandemic.” 

  • More funding for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority  

Said Emigholz: “Whether it is the $300 million bipartisan Senate bill announced recently by Senate President Sweeney, the package of funding bills that just passed an Assembly committee to provide increased NJEDA funding to specific types of businesses or both, there should be budget language and legislation driving significant federal relief funds to the NJEDA.  

  • Paying down more debt, instead of taxing jobs 

 Said Emigholz: “NJBIA also asks to put federal funds into the New Jersey Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund as many other states have. New Jersey employers are facing a billion-dollar UI tax increase over the next few years, and this would reduce debt while reducing that looming automatic unemployment insurance tax increase on jobs.” 

  • Fixing CBT and GILTI 

 Said Emigholz: “In a budget where there is ample evidence of New Jersey overtaxing its residents and businesses, it is important to note that we continue to be a corporate tax outlier, discouraging the expansion or relocation of large employers to the Garden State.  

“New Jersey is still one of the only states in the nation that taxes 50% or more of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI), and the only state with as many international Fortune 500 company headquarters to include more than 5% of GILTI in their tax base.  

“Additionally, the current but temporary corporate business surtax brings the corporate tax rate to 11.5% – the highest corporate tax rate in the nation. Lowering the taxation of GILTI and a reduction or early elimination of the surtax may be appropriate. When tax revenues and other budget resources are as strong as they are, we are seeking your support and feedback to move New Jersey’s corporate taxation in line with other states.”