The State of New Jersey's Business Climate
Steve Adubato is joined by Tom Bracken of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Michele Siekerka from NJBIA, Ralph Thomas of New Jersey Society of CPA's and Debbie Hart of BioNJ to examine ways to keep New Jersey businesses competitive. The panel also addresses key issues facing the NJ business community including the Transportation Trust Fund, state taxes, the minimum wage debate, and paid sick leave.
"Welcome to Caucus New Jersey. I'm Steve Adubato. So what exactly are the biggest issues facing our business community? Here in the studio to talk about what we can actually do to make New Jersey's business more competitive, we have... Ralph Thomas, CEO and Executive Director of New Jersey Society of CPAs. Debbie Hart, President and CEO, BioNJ. Michele Siekerka, President and CEO New Jersey Business and Industry Association. And finally, Tom Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. I want to thank all of you for joining us to talk about New Jersey business and how we can make us more competitive. Michele, let me ask you, we've talked a lot about these issues. What makes us not as competitive as we should be right out of the box? Well, our tax rates, you know, you can line up our tax rates, sales tax, property tax, corporate business tax, individual tax, estate and inheritance tax, we're an outlier on many of 'em. And when you put them all together, we are dead last compared in the nation. Is it largely taxes? That's a huge part of it. You know, on top of that we have the cost of regulation which business deals with every single day. You know, every time there's a new regulation in this state, that means new paper that needs to be pushed in a back office somewhere, and that means we have to do our business processes different, and as a result of that, it costs us more money. Tom jump in here. We, our team was out at the annual Chamber train ride getting ready with your folks once again, how many people, by the way, were going to Washington on that train? There were about close to a thousand. And an awful lot of the business folks we talked to said a lot of the same things Michele just did. Right. It is taxes and regulations largely? Oh they play a huge role in this, but you also have to remember that we have not invested in our state infrastructure, in our infrastructure, which is the foundation of our economy that hurts our competitive situation. We need to work to get our students staying here and part of our workforce, because the more our businesses grow, the more they need qualified people in the workforce. That has to be worked on. There are many many issues that need to be worked on. And I would say that these issues are not being ignored..."