CIANJ President Shares Challenges of Keeping Businesses in NJ
Anthony Russo, President, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, and Steve Adubato discuss the millionaire’s tax, state and local tax deductions, the reasons businesses are leaving state and what needs to be done to keep them here.
"We're Pleased to be joined by Tony Russo, President of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey. Good to see my friend. Happy to be here, Steve. Thank you. The state of commerce... by the way, your website will be up throughout this entire segment. The state of commerce in the state of New Jersey... how would you describe it? I mean, at this point, tentative. I think a lot of our businesses are worried... concerned about what's going to happen in Trenton with the budget and the taxes and whether or not we're gonna have taxes or not have taxes. So, I would say tentative but cautiously optimistic. I mean... so business is good but I'm waiting to see what happens. By the way... when Tony says that we're doing this right before the budget is supposed to be struck in the state of New Jersey toward the end of June 2018, it will air after that... but let's talk big picture. You talk to business leaders all the time... if in fact there is a, quote unquote, "millionaire's tax," an increase... taxes on millionaires, I believe, help me on the... I think it's... eight point... right now, it's eight point... ...nine? 8.9%. It could go up to...? 10.25% I think. 10.25%. If someone says, "Well it's only a good percentage or so, what's the big deal?" What impact, if that were to happen, do you think it would have? Yeah, because I think it's a cumulative effect. So when you think about that one tax combined with all the other taxes that our businesses pay, I think there needs to be an appreciation that a millionaire's tax, a lot of the millionaires, and I think there are about 18,000 in New Jersey, also employ a lot of our residents. They own the small businesses. And so, they're gonna take that all into account and I think that the impact will be that those millionaires will decide whether or not the view is worth the climb and whether or not they should leave the state. What happens when a business leaves a state? And by the way, where do they go, Tony? A lot of them relocate to Pennsylvania, right next to... Lower tax rate? Yeah. Delaware, New York... Lower tax rate? Lower tax rate. Florida, no taxes? Florida, no taxes... No income taxes? ...no income tax in Florida. So, it's a cumulative effect, it's a pancake effect, I mean, so, you put one pancake on another, each one is a tax, a fee, and then when they take it big picture, they'll say, "You know what? It's time maybe to move elsewhere." Okay, by the way, we're talking to Tony..."