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N.J. business leaders, Republican lawmakers bash proposed tax hikes

Friday, June 26, 2015   (0 Comments)
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NJ.com 06/23/15

Reacting hours before Democrats made their formal announcement, New Jersey business leaders and Republican state lawmakers on Monday blasted them for trying to raise taxes on millionaires and corporations to raise money for the public worker retirement system. The opponents of the millionaires' tax' news conference Monday preempted Democrats' unveiling of their budget plan, which was expected to mirror their proposal last year, which included a millionaires' tax and surcharge on corporation business taxes. Those predictions were borne out when Democratic leaders released details of their budget proposal later Monday afternoon.

The plan includes a four-year increase in the tax rate on income over $1 million from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent, and a one-year, 15 percent surcharge on business taxes. Christie is widely expected to veto the bills. "The Democrats know that the governor is going to veto this. And I have to tell you, thank God for the governor who's got the guts to stand up for the average person working in this state and protecting their job," state Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said. "So, I can tell you, there will not be one Republican vote in my caucus, and as Sen. Kean just told you, there won't be one in his caucus." The state Senate and Assembly budget committees will take up the bills Tuesday morning, followed by the full houses on Thursday. State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union), predicted they won't "see the light of day this year."

Calling Democrats' proposed tax hikes and regulations "death by a thousand cuts," Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, also called on the Legislature to reject measures that threaten to chase business out of the state. "Right now more taxes and more regulations seem to be the only answers coming out of the Legislature," he said. Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, warned that a so-called millionaires' tax also harms small business owners who report their business income through their personal income tax returns. The mere mention of the tax hikes has a chilling effect on the New Jersey economy, and passing them would be a job killer, she continued.


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