NJ Business Leaders Worried Yet Hopeful: What Comes Next?
What does the rest of 2023 hold for the New Jersey business community?
According to Chris Emigholz the chief of government affairs for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen later this spring into the summer and fall.
He said the pandemic has caused a wave of economic problems that continue to plague many Jersey businesses.
Inflation still a big problem
About 93% said they were impacted by inflation and 80% by supply chains.
Another big issue is the Unemployment Insurance payroll tax bill that comes due this summer.
He said while most states have used American Rescue Plan funds to replenish their unemployment trust funds that were emptied during the pandemic, New Jersey has not done that, and the way things stand right now businesses will be charged a combined $300 million in payroll taxes to help replenish the fund on July 1.
“Knowing that we have a budget with a $10 billion surplus, I think some small business UI tax relief is appropriate.”
Include small biz in ANCHOR?
Emigholz pointed out New Jersey is set to continue the ANCHOR tax relief program next year, but the program does not include businesses.
“Is there a way that we could think about including small businesses or manufacturers into the ANCHOR program so they get some relief?"
He noted a lot of businesses continue to try and recover from pandemic losses, even as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates but unemployment remains very low so “there’s a lot up in the air, there’s some reason for optimism and positivity, there’s a lot of reason for pessimism, and I think uncertainty is the best word I would use to describe things.”
He said having the governor’s support for allowing the 2.5% corporate business tax (CBT) surcharge to expire at the end of this year is a positive development because it will not only cut business taxes but also send a message to companies across the nation that New Jersey is interested in improving its business climate.
Jersey’s highest in the nation 11.5% CBT will drop to 9% when the surcharge sunsets on Dec. 31, barring a last-minute move by the legislature to keep it.