New Jersey has the highest business taxes in the nation. We were so close to dropping from the highest to, well, the fourth highest, but the Trenton Democrats couldn't give up the #1 title.

Trenton imposed an additional Corporate Business Tax surcharge of 2.5% which took our already stratospheric rate of 9% to a whopping 11.5%. Then the tax was scheduled to sunset. Democrats and at least one Republican running for governor, (Jon Bramnick who is more of a Democrat than a Republican) are entertaining the idea of increasing taxes in order to fund NJ Transit.

NJ Transit train at the Hamilton station
NJ Transit train at the Hamilton station (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)

No discussion of making the failing agency more efficient, or even attempting to look at the highest in history state budget of $56 billion and making cuts. Nope, just raise taxes AGAIN.

Typical of career politicians like most of the Democrats in Trenton and the guy that has carried their water for years while masquerading as a Republican, but the voters want and yes, deserve better.

Many Republicans are afraid to take up the issue because they fear the Democrats' accusation that the GOP speaks for the rich. Of course, this is as false a narrative as the majority party can spin.

Republicans x Democrats

While it's true that the tax hits businesses turning a $10 million profit, there are a few facts to understand.

First of all, our neighboring states have lower taxes and aggressively recruit companies to leave New Jersey and pay less of their hard-earned profits. As an example, PA lowered its tax to 4.99%, less than half of New Jersey's burden.


Second, this tax impacts every dollar from zero to $10 million, so it's not graduated as typical income taxes are.

Third, the taxes impact more than 600 companies employing tens of thousands of New Jerseyans. When these companies pack up and leave New Jersey, many employees are stuck looking for other work, or leaving the state altogether.

The outmigration of adjusted gross income has already made us the top state for people leaving six years running now.

When New Jersey loses taxpayers, especially big ones like the 600+ companies that may decide to leave New Jersey for lower tax states, the middle class picks up the tax burden.

We recently saw the taxes go up for working and middle-class families with the Legislature passing an increase in the gas tax, on top of the automatic increases already passed a few years ago.

Where are the Republicans in opposition to the constant increase in the cost of living for average people? Many are beholden to the special interests who continue to look out for themselves and not you.

Pro-business posers like the New Jersey State Chamber's Tom Bracken supported the working-class tax increase (which is another unfair burden on small businesses) saying that there was "no better investment" than our transportation infrastructure.

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Tom Bracken, president and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
Tom Bracken, president and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)

Of course, Bracken failed to mention the out-of-control budget, the burden on our small businesses, and the available money already allocated for infrastructure. We must invest in our transportation and energy infrastructure, but there is NO NEED TO RAISE TAXES IN ORDER TO DO IT.

On the other side of the tax argument, The New Jersey Business and Industry Association has been a champion of reducing the tax burden and making the politically tough call to oppose new burdens on all businesses, even the big ones.

Michele Siekierka from NJBIA joined me on air to discuss the group's opposition to the latest assault on our business community, the Transportation Surcharge Tax.

Let's be clear. Sensible Republicans, like me, wholeheartedly support a massive investment into our Transportation Infrastructure. We need to spend several billion dollars over the course of the next few years in order to address the failing infrastructure, especially the 442 bridges considered "structurally deficient" by the federal government.

We need to speed up the time for approval of roadway projects and make sure that we get our skilled trades and construction companies working in overdrive. The investment in our infrastructure will make New Jersey more attractive for business investments, raise revenue through tolls and income taxes through job creation and travel, and make our roads safer.

The question is how do you do it?

In the next few weeks, I'll be rolling out our specific plan to Restore Affordability to New Jersey. The plan will include streamlining the approval process, reigning in the bureaucracy at the DEP and the DOT, plus major budget reprioritizing that will take money from failing and wasteful programs and investing that money into our infrastructure.

We're going to do the same with our energy infrastructure, including reinvestment in the natural gas infrastructure and exploring micro-reactors, landfill, and hydrogen power.

Stay tuned and I'll see you on the trail.

Average property taxes in New Jersey

These are the county and municipal average property taxes for 2023. The data comes from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own.

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