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Position Papers

CCSNJ FY2022 Written Budget Testimony

State Budget

TO:                      Members of the Assembly Budget Committee

FROM:                Christina M. Renna, President & CEO, CCSNJ

RE:                       New Jersey FY2022 State Budget

DATE:                  June 22, 2021

The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey is the region’s largest and most influential business organization representing businesses in the seven most southern counties of New Jersey, as well as Greater Philadelphia and northern Delaware.  The CCSNJ has more than 1,100 member companies, approximately 85 percent of which are small businesses that employ less than 50 people.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the FY2022 State Budget.

Following the unprecedented FY21 budget, the CCSNJ was pleased to see the exclusion of any new taxes, tax increases or fees in the FY2022 budget. The citizens and businesses of New Jersey are struggling to return to pre-pandemic normalcy and continue to grapple with the economic impact of the pandemic. Any increase in taxes would only add to the incredible burden placed upon businesses and slow the economic recovery of the state.

The revised FY2022 $46.5 billion budget does provide some assistance to the business community, although the CCSNJ was disappointed more of the $5 billion tax windfall the state received in recent weeks was not allocated to help businesses restart the state’s economy.  The inclusion of $135 million of COVID-19 relief for businesses, in addition to the $235 million proposed in the Governor’s original budget is welcome news, along with the $100 million to expand childcare so residents can return to work. However, the budget did not include any federal funds to replenish the state unemployment trust fund, which has paid out billions of dollars in benefits to residents during the pandemic.

The CCSNJ would like to voice our support for the Governor and legislature’s decision to provide property tax relief in the FY2022 budget. New Jersey is known has a high-cost state, with the highest property taxes in the nation. In fact, average New Jersey property tax bill rose above the $9,000 mark for the first time ever last year, according to a report by NJ Spotlight. The inclusion of property relief measures in this budget are a step towards addressing the state’s affordability crisis. The $500 tax rebate and the long overdue update to the Homestead Benefit payments, based on 2017 property tax information rather than the outdated 2006 property tax information, will provide much needed relief to burdened taxpayers.

The CCSNJ was also pleased to see steps taken in this budget to address long term fiscal issues, including the additional $505 million to the Governor’s originally proposed $6.4 billion pension payment. This is a welcome step towards making long term investments to address New Jersey’s affordability crisis. The CCSNJ also supports the inclusion of the Debt Defeasance Fund which contains $2.5 billion to immediately pay off some of the state’s oldest debt and $1.2 billion to forgo potential debt on new projects. Though the CCSNJ supports these steps towards taking on the state’s massive debt, we remain disappointed that the state finds itself in a position, having borrowed unnecessarily $4 billion in debt last year, that cannot yet be paid back.

Although pleased with some aspects of the budget proposal, it is unfortunate that given the unanticipated revenue collections and funds from the federal government, more was not put in place to assist the businesses in desperate need of assistance now. The CCSNJ looks forward to continuing to review the details of the FY2022 state budget and encourages the Legislature to think creatively about how to put New Jersey on the best path toward its post-pandemic economic recovery.  

Thank you for the opportunity to present our position on the revised Fiscal Year 2022 State Budget.

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For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra 

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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