New Jersey Business & Industry Association President CEO Michele N. Siekerka issued the following statement regarding today's State of the State address by Gov. Murphy.
"As we move into 2019, it is important that Governor Murphy's path to a 'stronger and fairer' economy and a more affordable New Jersey not be paved with added tax increases and costs to business.
"New Jersey is in a fiscal crisis and needs structural reform, first and foremost. It is critical that we focus on controlling state spending, instead of increasing costs on our job creators. Unsustainable spending hampers the state's ability to make investments in infrastructure, higher education and economic development – all of which are essential to attracting and retaining businesses.
"Governor Murphy has taken steps to foster innovation in the state, a mission that is shared wholeheartedly by NJBIA. But as detailed in our Indicators of Innovation report last week, advancing the innovation economy cannot happen without fixing what is structurally broken in New Jersey.
"We learned yesterday that our corporate business taxes are up 61 percent for 2018. It is this kind of tax structure and climate that will dissuade investment and make us continue to struggle in this sector in the region.
"We maintain that state tax incentive programs for business of all sizes should be transparent and appropriately monitored, but also an important strategy to make New Jersey competitive and affordable.
"New Jersey is a national outlier on taxes and business climate. Looking forward, we must recognize that added taxes and mandates have a cumulative impact on the overall cost of doing business in New Jersey.
"In 2018, employers absorbed additional costs in the form of a new paid sick leave mandate, more subsidies for energy delivery and a fiscal budget that placed New Jersey's job creators at the forefront of increased taxes. In 2019, businesses now face the prospect of a $15 minimum wage.
"For many smaller businesses, the economic pie is only so big and the slices continue to get smaller. New Jersey business owners are our job creators, who themselves, are working tirelessly to provide salaries, benefits and a way of life for millions of New Jersey residents.
"NJBIA has called for no new taxes in 2019, as have Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin. We are hopeful that fiscal responsibility will lead to a more affordable New Jersey."