Lawmakers Absent from Rally to Tax Big Corporations

TRENTON – If a deal is “bad,” why keep it?

That summed up the sentiment Thursday at a mid-day rally by liberal groups opposed to doing away with a 2.5 percent tax surcharge on corporate profits at the end of the year.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who is in step with the left wing more times than he is not, is marching to a different drummer this time around. The governor said just two days ago he wants the surcharge eliminated. noting that was the plan when it was enacted about three years ago.

In other words, a deal is a deal.

Not so fast.

At today’s protest rally on a chilly, but not outright cold, day outside the Statehouse, speakers said doing away with the added tax would be a financial bonanza for the richest corporations in the state.

Walmart and Amazon, neither of which is universally popular, were specifically mentioned.

A bottom line here was that it is major corporations – even those not as massive as Walmart and Amazon – who stand to benefit the most.

As one speaker noted, “We’re not talking about the neighborhood pizzeria.”

No, we are not. That is a given. The added 2.5 percent tax kicks in on profits of $1 million and above.

Besides referring to the deal, supporters of letting the surcharge expire say that at 9 percent, New Jersey’s corporate business tax was already among the highest in the nation. And that was before the 2.5 percent surcharge was added, bringing the tax to 11.5 percent.

That didn’t sway the few hundred people at today’s rally.

Their argument was that corporations earn enough money to well afford both the standard tax – plus the surcharge.

Peter Chen, a senior policy analyst with New Jersey Policy Perspective, said the “deal” that he cares about is a deal with New Jersey residents. As another speaker intoned, the agreement to let the surcharge lapse does nothing to build affordable housing or to prevent evictions.

As was evident, the view was that the surcharge would allow the state to meet pressing health and human needs.

Antoinette Miles, the interim director of the New Jersey Working Families Party, put it this way:

“The only promise that we must keep … is the promise to working families and the promise to our communities for a better New Jersey.”

Doing away with the surcharge will cost the state an estimated $322 million.

That’s a pretty small amount in a budget that is $54 billion. However, state tax revenue to support that budget covering July through September – the first three months of the 2023-24 fiscal year – came in about 6 percent lower than last year.

So, if revenues are down, why get rid of the added tax?

In truth, it’s more complicated than that.

Just because revenues are down the first part of the fiscal year doesn’t mean that trend is going to continue for 12 months.

Moreover, the state does have – as the governor said on Tuesday – a surplus of more than $8 billion. You can do a lot with $8 billion.

With Murphy seemingly unwilling to budge on this issue, the few hundred people rallying have to appeal to the Legislature. That, in fact, was the plan.

Protesters said they planned to roam the Statehouse all day to lobby lawmakers.

It is true that taxing the likes of Amazon and Walmart is politically popular, especially for Democrats, who control the Legislature.

Still, no legislator spoke at the rally.

Hardly an encouraging sign for keeping the surcharge.

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2 responses to “Lawmakers Absent from Rally to Tax Big Corporations”

  1. A tremendous display of the uninitiated, knowledgeable, anti-capitalist pseudo revolutionaries who are ignorant of NJ’s awful business reputation and its impact on job growth, or loss. This is a demonstration of hate the success crowd of neo-Marxists who haven’t a clue how to create a robust economy. Their Robinhood approach to government taxation will lead to economic calamity for the very people they pretend to be helping.

  2. The “useful” idiots are out in force again. They will kill themselves by destroying the very businesses that give them jobs, pay their bills, provide their food and clothes, etc., etc., etc. The Far-Left Communists will never learn that Marxism-Socialism-Communism is a failed ideology and has collapsed within 50 years wherever it was implemented.

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