NJBIA on Reviving New Jersey's Economy
Steve Adubato and Michele Siekerka, President & CEO, New Jersey Business and Industry Association, discuss ways in which Governor Murphy plans to revive New Jersey’s economy, how to reduce spending in NJ and how the Corporate Business Tax Clean-Up Bill will affect businesses in NJ.
"We're pleased to be joined by our good friend Michele Siekerka, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. Good to see you, Michele. Same here, Steve. I see you have two reports in front of you. I do. And what would they actually be representing? So, right here, we have the state of innovation which is Governor Murphy's plan to rebuild the innovation economy in the state of New Jersey. So I've heard. Very good stuff in here. In fact, you know, the vision of NJBIA is to reclaim our stature as the innovation state. It hangs on our walls in our building. Yep, I've seen it. Wake up every day passionate about that, right? So there's really good stuff in here about a pathway to get there. However, we need this plan along with it. That plan is...? This is Senate President Sweeney's path to progress. And what this plan does is this talks about fixing structural deficiencies in the state of New Jersey. Which is a fancy way of saying what? Well, our pension's broken, our property taxes are too high, and we don't invest the right way in infrastructure. Other than that, how are we doing? Well... [laughter] So hold on, go back. So our public employee pension costs too high? Yes. You know, it's broken right now. But I thought we fixed it in 2011? Not enough. I thought Governor Christie, at the time, Senate President Sweeney and others got together and said, "We're gonna fix the pension healthcare crisis". They got together and they started down a path. The problem is, that path wasn't wide enough or long enough, and we all know that we need more because, unfortunately, there are people depending on that money and we made a promise on that money, and we need to ensure in some way that money is there. But we need to stop making the same mistake by continuing down the same path of that pension system. So we just can't afford that type of a pension system any longer. What about the pen... the property tax issue you raised? Yeah, they're too high. We're number one in the... How is that a business issue? Number... how? Oh, because we, the business community, we pay most of that. You know, we are the majority of the property taxpayer across the state of New Jersey. People don't realize that. You know, all those companies that you go in, all those businesses, those buildings... our members own them. You know? So they pay property tax on that. Number one in the nation... highest property tax in..."