$2.5B in new taxes and fees spurs 2 lawmakers to take new action
Do you think New Jersey taxes are too high?
One Garden State lawmaker believes the answer is yes and is launching an effort to fight what he sees as a never-ending cycle of increasing state taxes and fees.
Assemblyman Chris DePhillips, R-Bergen, has announced the creation of a legislative tax cut caucus that will be meeting for the first time in January.
“It’s a very informal caucus. We’ve invited all Republican Assembly members and we’re certainly opening it up to Democratic members who would like to join us," he said.
“Most Republicans and most Democrats want us to tackle these issues together. There’s no reason why the parties can’t come together.”
He said many people and businesses can no longer afford to pay these taxes and fees and something must be done.
“I think it’s fair to say Trenton is addicted to taxes and spending and so we’re trying to change the conversation away from that to a focus on tax cuts," he said.
“Everything I heard from my constituents during the election cycle was about how to keep businesses and families in New Jersey and keep the state affordable. We have not heard that agenda in Trenton since we returned.
DePhillips said one major focus for the caucus will be cutting the corporate business tax.
“When we passed the surtax last year, I heard from CEOs not just in my district but from outside my district saying that’s that's the last straw, I’m moving my business out of New Jersey.”
The caucus will review the two dozen new taxes and fees that have been passed since Gov. Phil Murphy took office two years ago, amounting to $2.5 billion in cost to taxpayers.
He said this list includes the green energy surcharge on electric utility bills, the sports betting license fee, sports bets and racetracks and casino tax, a vape tax, a Jersey City payroll tax, a corporate dividends tax, a Meadowlands hotel tax expansion, an Uber and Lyft tax, an Airbnb tax and several others.
DePhillips said he and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, R-Monmouth, the co-founder of the tax cut caucus, have been working for the past two years since they were first elected, to cut spending and oppose tax increases.
He noted he discussed the idea of a tax cut caucus with New Jersey 101.5 morning show host Bill Spadea “and I think it’s fair to say that Bill gave us the name for the tax cut caucus and we ran with it.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com