In an effort to ease the burden on businesses struggling with the economic impact of COVID, the Assembly voted last week to approve legislation to relieve businesses of a portion of their future unemployment tax obligation. The huge amount of unemployment benefits paid out during the pandemic have depleted the states Unemployment Trust Fund. The Commissioner of Labor stated that employer payroll taxes, which go up when the fund drops, would have to increase by a billion dollars in July 2021 to restore funds that have been paid out during the pandemic.
The bill, A-4853, still needs to be voted on by the Senate before it is sent to the Governor. It phases in the increase of the unemployment employer tax thru FY 2024. While this bill offers some relief, NFIB has advocated for the Murphy Administration to use CARES Act funding to replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund. A dozen other states have already used CARES dollars for this purpose. Considering the money was expressly intended to help businesses impacted by the pandemic, Governor Murphy should use those funds for that purpose.
NH State Director Eileen Kean had and op-ed on that subject published recently on NJ.com. You can read it by CLICKING HERE.
Shop Local for Property Tax Relief
NFIB is supporting legislation, A-4806, which allows municipalities to create a property tax reward program for residents who patronize local merchants. The bill codifies a practice already in place in a few NJ communities. Customers who register for the program would be given a rewards card to present at local participating businesses. Residents who shop locally would receive a lower property tax bill for the year and those who live out-of-town or are renters would earn a cash rebate. This legislation is a creative concept as local businesses will benefit from increased shopping generated by the program. Last week the full Assembly unanimously passed the bill. Although the Senate has not yet heard the bill, the overwhelming Assembly support is a positive step toward the legislation reaching the Governor’s desk.