As a long-time small business owner and registered Republican since 1991, I was shocked to read several pieces by Steve Lonegan, the so-called fiscal conservative and serial congressional candidate, supporting this “tax hike” bill on New Jersey. It appears that Steve endorses increased taxes on our state. He must be pandering to someone in national Tea Party headquarters, because he’s certainly not playing to those of us here in our district who have done the math on this horrible piece of legislation.
Firstly, this tax hike bill eliminates SALT, our ability to deduct our state and local taxes, including our property taxes, a protection from double taxation in place since 1913. This will significantly increase operating costs and the cost of living for many of our employees. Secondly, it cuts the mortgage interest deduction and eliminates the deduction for second homes and home equity lines. Property values will most likely fall. How can you be from New Jersey and support this tax hike bill?
I’m honored to be the President of Hausmann Industries, the business my father started in 1955 and moved to New Jersey in 1966. More than 80 percent of our products are made in our 65,000 square foot factory in Northvale, NJ. Manufacturing Medical, Therapy and Athletic Training Equipment, right here in Bergen County is something our 89 employees do with great pride. Instead of helping a company like ours grow and flourish in New Jersey, however, Steve Lonegan has endorsed a tax bill that will make it more expensive for us to stay in the state and harder for me to keep the talented staff I need for advanced manufacturing.
As it is, New Jersey is already the most taxed state in the country and close to last in business friendliness by all studies. Over the years, it’s become increasingly expensive to operate in New Jersey; taxes are much higher than other states, labor costs are higher, and regulation is debilitating. If the government raises taxes even more, why would any company, or future employee, come to our state? Why would others stay? Companies like mine are regularly courted by lower cost states. It’s no wonder that the CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association came out against it; the tax hike bill will send even more of our residents, businesses, and our tax base packing for other states. Why would any Republican candidate go against the advice of our Chamber of Commerce? This clearly isn’t good for New Jersey businesses or jobs.
To add insult to injury this NJ tax hike bill will add $1.5 trillion dollars to the Federal deficit. I thought Steve Lonegan was for fiscal responsibility? Isn’t that the Tea Party mantra?
I’m sick and tired of our hard-earned tax dollars going into the hands of other states. Mississippi gets $4.38 cents for every dollar they send to DC; we get 33 cents. Now they want us to pay for this ill-conceived tax reform by raising the taxes of high tax states like NJ, NY and CA?
We need smart and sensible tax reform that actually cuts taxes for our residents and businesses of all sizes and promotes jobs and growth. It cannot help other states and penalize us.
Here’s my advice, Steve: I know you’ve run (and lost) for nearly every position in the state. I know President Trump called you a “loser.” But the best way to dig out of that hole is not to kiss up to the national Tea Party by raising our taxes. Since you’re venue shopping in Bergen County now, please learn to focus on what’s best for our residents and small businesses. Those other folks don’t vote in New Jersey. We do.