Last week, Governor Phil Murphy delivered his “State of the State” message to the joint members of the Assembly and Senate in the Assembly chamber. He claimed that New Jersey now has a more reasonable and responsible government that is a model for the nation and mentioned that one billion dollars in grants and loans were provided to help small businesses since the onset of the pandemic.
While NFIB is grateful for the aid measures, Main Street businesses continue to struggle, operating in the most expensive, overtaxed state in the country. The Governor failed to address the reality that businesses are being forced to contribute more than one billion dollars to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which was depleted by the pandemic, unlike the majority of other states that dedicated federal COVID relief money to their unemployment shortfall. Further, his announced plan to entirely revamp all aspects of New Jersey’s liquor licensing laws, while well intentioned, will create another layer of expensive fees and regulations, pitting unlicensed and currently licensed Main Street restaurants against each other.
Following the speech, Governor Murphy went on record saying that he will allow the corporate business tax (CBT) surcharge to sunset at the end of 2023. Currently, there is a 2.5-percent surtax on the 9-percent CBT for companies making more than $1 million in taxable income. At present, New Jersey has the highest CBT in the country.