Bracken: With $10B in additional revenue, more help should go to businesses

Tom Bracken, the CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, has never been shy about asking the state to help the business community.

On Tuesday, a day after the state Treasury announced New Jersey will have approximately $7 billion more in revenue than projected for fiscal years 2022-23, Bracken said some of that money should go to supporting the business community.

“This revenue windfall is in addition to the reported $3 billion still available to New Jersey in American Rescue Plan funding,” Bracken said. “With about $10 billion at its disposal, there are no longer viable reasons why Trenton cannot provide financial support to the business community on a scale equal to the programs that have helped Gov. (Phil) Murphy realize the fairer economy he envisioned.

“Some legislative leaders are already calling for tax relief and rebate programs for the state’s taxpayers. The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce urges these leaders to remember the New Jersey business community when it comes to tax and financial relief.

“Our businesses remain the most heavily taxed in the nation, and now we have the chance to move toward ending this unwelcome distinction.”

Bracken said it’s a measure of fairness. After all, the state’s corporate business tax rate, at 12.5%, is the highest in the country. And New Jersey was one of just a handful of states that did not use federal money to help replenish the unemployment insurance fund — handing the business community a $1.4 billion bill.

In addition to helping pay down the unemployment insurance fund, Bracken said the state could make more grants available to small businesses.

Bracken acknowledges that there are many requests for funding, but offered his reasons why the business community should be assisted.

“Trenton needs to realize that the only chance to maintain this level of revenue is to create a vibrant state economy, and the only way to do that is to invest in the growth of the business community that Trenton ultimately turns to for the tax revenue it needs,” he said.

“The New Jersey Chamber recognizes that there will be many worthwhile requests for these surplus dollars, but investing in the business community will generate long-term prosperity for New Jersey and will benefit every citizen in the state.”