At the first hearing of the House’s annual budget hearings on Tuesday, the business community and progressive groups disagreed with senators on how to use the surging revenues and remaining federal aid. gave an opinion.
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and representatives of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Southern New Jersey will contribute $6.8 billion in pension payments planned by Gov. Phil Murphy, $1.3 billion to a fund used to pay off state debt applauded the deposit proposal. Lack of proposed tax increases.
But they said the proposed $50 million deposit to the Main Street Recovery Fund, a pandemic-era small business aid program, wasn’t enough. And they urged lawmakers to use federal funds to avoid an automatic increase in unemployment insurance taxes for employers meant to replenish state unemployment funds.
“There are ways to improve budgets and make the state more affordable through tax cuts and some additional growth-enhancing investments,” said Chris Emiholtz, vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Business Industry Association. We appreciate maintaining our policy of no tax, but we need broader tax cuts to address more affordable prices for all.”
These arguments, as well as those submitted by progressives, are closely aligned with those made at the Congressional Budget Committee last week.
Emigoltz urged states to double the $500 taxpayer-funded signing bonuses they provide to lure people into the workforce, and if the spending doesn’t keep up, federal aid will fall. He warned that states could be forced to raise taxes if they dried up and tax collection surged. in line.
“These are not reliable long-term renewable sources of income going forward,” said Hilary Chevra, manager of government affairs at the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. To do so, the state will necessarily have to raise taxes on New Jersey’s already overburdened business and resident communities.”
Progressive advocates took a different view, saying that helping the state’s most needy residents would help New Jersey’s economy more than it would help businesses.
“We hear a lot about making New Jersey affordable, but for whom does it make the state affordable? I have to ask,” he said. “We’ve heard from the business community about how to make the state affordable for businesses, but it’s New Jersey’s low- and middle-income residents who are suffering the most.”
Speaking on behalf of New Jersey’s Anti-Poverty Network at Tuesday’s conference, Chen and Lenny Kubiadis suggested that New Jersey create a state-level child tax credit that mirrors what exists at the federal level.
They said New Jersey should increase income eligibility and award levels for the state’s earned income tax credit.
Income cutoffs for federal credit range from $21,430 for a single filer with no dependents to $57,414 for a married filer with three dependents. State awards are equivalent to 40% of federal credit.
They also urged legislators to step up WorkFirst NJ, the state’s temporary assistance to poor families, noting that enrollment dropped by more than 90% between 1996 and 2018. utility assistance.
“Rather than go to corporate tax cuts or giveaways to institutions, these dollars will go to grocery store workers, home health care aides, childcare workers, and other New Jersey workers who have worked hard to get through the pandemic. It should be in the pocket of hardworking people,” Chen said.Said