Business leaders and legislators appeared on the State House steps this morning to warn that a proposal to increase income taxes would hurt New Jersey's economy and job growth - essentially chasing high-income earners, and the taxes they pay, to more tax friendly states like Florida and Pennsylvania.
The state business leaders assembled with New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President Tom Bracken to oppose the proposal to raise the state income tax on those that make more than $1 million and increase the corporation business tax by 15 percent as a way to help the state balance its budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins on July 1.
"It's an easy answer to say tax the rich. But in the long term, this income tax hike hits much more than high income earners," said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "It also affects everyone in New Jersey in a very direct way. When we increase taxes, we damage our ability to attract and retain businesses. That erodes the tax base and makes our fiscal problems worse."
"We need a long-term solution to the state's fiscal problems, not a one-year fix that will have long-term negative repercussions," Bracken said. "And the business community needs to be involved in crafting that solution."
For photos from the event, click here.
Participants in the Press Conference:
- Tom Bracken, President and CEO, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
- Melanie Willoughby, Acting President, New Jersey Business & Industry Association
- Laurie Ehlbeck, New Jersey State Director, National Federation of Independent Businesses
- John Holub, President, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association
- Marilou Halvorsen, President, New Jersey Restaurant Association
- Mary Ellen Peppard, Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs, New Jersey Food Council
- Debra DiLorenzo, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey
- Peter Crowley, President and CEO, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Kristi Howell, President and CEO, Burlington County Chamber of Commerce
- Michael Kerwin, President and CEO, Somerset County Business Partnership
- Jim Kirkos, President and CEO, Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Caryn Luberto, President,Tri-County Chamber of Commerce
- Bob Prunetti, President and CEO, MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce
- Alan Zakin, Morris County Chamber of Commerce
- Sen. Tom Kean Jr., Senate Republican Leader
- Sen. Tony Bucco, Republican Budget Officer
- Sen. Steve Oroho, Senate Budget Committee Member
- Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, Republican Leader
- Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon Jr., Republican Budget Officer