A new survey finds most certified public accountants in New Jersey believe the spending plan put forth by Gov. Phil Murphy would be bad for the Garden State.

Ralph Albert Thomas, the CEO and executive director at the NJ Society of CPAs, says when members were asked about Murphy’s budget proposal “and the impact it would have on the economy going forward, an overwhelming 74 percent said that it would get worse, and 31 percent said it would get significantly worse.”

Meanwhile 14 percent of respondents said Murphy’s proposed spending plan would help the Jersey economy.

Thomas says respondents were concerned about proposals for a millionaires tax and other taxes on businesses.

When CPAs who believed the governor’s proposed spending plan would make the economy worse were asked about how to improve New Jersey’s economic outlook, they suggested “having less regulation, certainly lower tax rates, reduce property taxes.”

“Many of the citizens of New Jersey are concerned about the fact that New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the country on average, more than double the national average," Thomas said.

He notes many CPAs felt higher taxes could lead to higher unemployment, and an exodus of businesses and individuals from the Garden State.

Other suggestions put forth in the survey included de-coupling the school funding formula from property taxes and addressing the growing public worker pension shortfall issue.

He says those who felt the governor’s proposed budget would be good for the state cited the millionaires tax, legalization of recreational marijuana and Murphy’s plan to let students attend community college for free as some of the major reasons why they felt it would be helpful.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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