ITL Volume 13 Issue 17 - Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Sarlo supports Sunset of Corporate Business Tax, NJDEP Backs off Plan to require Electric Boiler Conversions, Murphy Administration to retire $1B of Bonded Debt and more 

Sarlo supports Sunset of Corporate Business Tax

Recently, NJ Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-36) said a surtax on the state’s corporate business tax — which is already among the highest in the nation — must come to an end when it is scheduled to sunset.

“When the corporate business tax surcharge comes up in 2023, we must allow it to sunset,” Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) said to applause during an event with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

As part of a 2018 budget deal, a 2.5 percent surtax was added on top of the 9 percent corporate business tax for companies making over $1 million in taxable income. That increase was expected to sunset after four years. However, an extension for the 2.5 percent surtax was pushed to the end of 2023 in 2020. With a possible global recession on the horizon, business groups were concerned over the prospect of extending the surcharge again.

Business groups have long complained that the state’s corporate business tax is among the highest in the nation, arguing it makes the state less competitive to attract businesses.

NJDEP Backs off Plan to require Electric Boiler Conversions

Under pressure from business groups, unions and some lawmakers facing re-election next year, New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn LaTourette has dropped a controversial plan to force more than 1,500 schools across to spend tens of millions to convert their boilers from gas to electric as per the state’s new Energy Master Plan.

A coalition of nearly three dozen business and labor groups joined together to oppose the plan, arguing that in addition to a cost of around $2 million per school, the regulation would result in higher property taxes and electric bills that would cost about 4-5 times more than gas. 

The regulation would have also affected nearly 1,500 apartment buildings, 1,2000 commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities in the state – as well as roughly 200 government buildings.

A group of legislators, including State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), introduced legislation that would stop the regulation from going into effect until the legislature had time to thoroughly review the plan.

“With the removal of the boiler mandate from NJDEP rules, we just dodged a multi-billion-dollar bullet that business owners, renters, school districts, and local governments couldn’t afford,” said State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton). “This is a victory for now, but we need to make sure this proposal isn’t resurrected in the future. We’ll keep fighting to ensure that the other provisions of Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, which would result in tens of thousands of dollars of unnecessary costs for families and homeowners are removed as well.”

Murphy Administration to retire $1B of Bonded Debt

Governor Murphy’s administration is planning to retire another significant amount of New Jersey’s bonded debt -- this time a total of about $1 billion.   

According to Department of Treasury, school construction bonds issued through the state Economic Development Authority are scheduled to be “defeased” in February 2023.

The debt-reduction effort will be carried out using funds deposited earlier this year in a multibillion-dollar account maintained outside of the state budget. Governor Murphy and state lawmakers created this fund to specifically to address New Jersey’s substantial outstanding debt.    

Last year, the same account was used to retire a little over $2 billion in bonded debt. Treasury officials estimate more than $600 million in savings for taxpayers from this effort over the next decade.   

The new plan to retire another $1 billion in existing bonded debt will first require a signoff from the board of the Economic Development Authority, according to Treasury spokeswoman Danielle Currie.  

New Legislator Profile: Assemblyman William B. Sampson IV (D-31)

Assemblyman William B. Sampson IV was sworn in the New Jersey State Assembly in January 2022.

Sampson resides in Bayonne and attended Clark Atlanta University and New Jersey City University, He is a Longshoreman with the International Longshoreman’s Association Local 1588.

Assemblyman Sampson serves on the Assembly Human Services, Tourism, Gaming and the Arts and Labor Committees.


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