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Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:

Budget
Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Breakdown

The Governor unveiled a proposed budget totaling $33.8 billion, which does not raise taxes on the business community and gives the state a more reliable mechanism for paying economic development incentives. Below please find a sampling of the Governor's proposed budget.

$2.3 Billion in Business Tax Cuts and Reforms since the FY 2012 Budget

The State Chamber applauds the progress made through tax cuts and reforms, and supports the FY 2016 budget's completion of the five year phase-in of business tax reductions, as listed below:

A single sales factor formula for determining Corporate Business Tax liability (a reduction of $98 million); providing a net operating loss carry forward for small businesses (a reduction of $200 million); a 25 percent reduction in the S-Corp Minimum Tax levels from FY2012 (a reduction of $23 million); phase out of the transitional Energy Facilities Assessment ($243 million); the continuation of the Research & Development Tax Credit ($66 million) and the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program ($30 million).

Business Employment Incentive Program

The State Chamber supports the Governor's recommendation to adopt legislation to permit the voluntary conversion of outstanding Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) grant commitments into refundable tax credits. This proposal will create predictability for the business community and remove the BEIP program from the annual budget process.

To see the full Budget-in-Brief, please click here.

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Breakfast Roundtable with the State Treasurer

On March 6, Treasurer Eristoff gave New Jersey Chamber of Commerce members a briefing of the Governor's proposed budget at our Breakfast Roundtable. The Treasurer highlighted the final phase in of the State Chamber-supported business tax reforms and specifically focused on the singles sales factor. The Treasurer praised the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's role in pushing the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, a package of aggressive reforms that give the state powerful business attraction and retention incentives. The Treasurer said the budget also would solve a problem with the one of the state's business incentives programs by converting the BEIP grant program into a tax credit program, so the funding mechanism would no longer be subject to the unpredictable appropriations process. Treasurer Eristoff cautioned State Chamber members that the Legislature may try to resurrect anti-growth Corporation Business Tax surcharges, as well as the millionaire's tax, and he appealed to the State Chamber to oppose such measures.

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Economic Development
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
Thumbs Up

New Jersey Business Advisory Council
S-2709 (Beck/R-11; Sarlo/D-36)

Senate committee passed. Establishes the "New Jersey Business Advisory Council" within the Business Action Center (BAC) in the Department of State to advise the BAC and New Jersey Economic Development Authority on issues involving the improvement of the overall business climate in New Jersey. This council would be crucial in providing the BAC with direct input from the business community.

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-2709 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Sweeney, Stephen M. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes

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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
Thumbs Up

Allows Parking Facilities to Qualify for Incentives
S-2458 (Pou/D-35; Sweeney/D-3)

Senate committee passed. Permits municipal redevelopers that enter into long term operation and maintenance agreements with municipal parking authorities to obtain tax credits under the ERG program when they develop mixed use parking projects. The establishment of parking structures will incentivize consumers and businesses to patronize and live in newly developed/redeveloped areas.

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-2458 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Sweeney, Stephen M - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - No; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes

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Education
Assembly Education Committee
Under Review

Standardized Testing
A-4190 (Diegnan/D-18; Lagana/D-38; Eustace/D-38; Rible/R-30; Taliaferro/D-3; Mazzeo/D-2; Benson/D-14; Caputo/D-28; Jasey/D-27; Andrzejczak/D-1; Wimberly/D-35; Vainieri Huttle/D-37)

Assembly passed 63-7-3. Assembly committee passed. Imposes a three-year moratorium on the use of assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for certain purposes. The new standards and assessment system raises the bar for all students and provides data to districts regarding knowledge gaps. Once these gaps are identified, educators can provide targeted, just-in-time remediation to assure that all students are learning the academic material that will prepare them for the challenges of post-secondary education and the workforce so that they are truly college and career ready.

Assembly Education Committee A-4190 Vote: Diegnan, Patrick J. (C) - Yes; Singleton, Troy (VC) - Not Voting; Caputo, Ralph R. - Yes; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; Jasey, Mila M. - Yes; Jimenez, Angelica M. - Yes; Rible, David P. - Yes; Simon, Donna M. - Abstain; Taliaferro, Adam - Yes; Wolfe, David W. - Not Voting

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Labor
Thumbs Down

Onerous Reporting Requirements
A-3156 (DeAngelo/D-14)

Assembly passed 44-28. Changes the requirement for employers to file reports on wages earned by employees from a quarterly basis to a monthly. These reports must be filed with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD) within 20 business days after the end of the month to which the report applies. The State Chamber has concerns that increasing the frequency of filing sensitive employment data with DLWD would adversely affect a business's accounting practices.

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Regulation
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee
Thumbs Up

Regulatory Reform
S-1736 (Oroho/R-24; Van Drew/D-1)

Senate committee passed. This bill establishing new procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act to streamline and allow substantial changes to state agency rulemaking. Additionally, it requires agencies to periodically review rules and regulations to ensure continued effectiveness.

Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee S-1736 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Not Voting; Oroho, Steven V. - Not Voting; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes

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Thumbs up and down indicates the Chamber's support or opposition to issues. Call the New Jersey Chamber Government Relations Department at (609) 989-7888 with questions or comments.

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