Coalition of Workers and Advocates Call on Lawmakers to Bring Back the Corporate Millionaires’ Tax in Next State Budget

Coalition of Workers and Advocates Call on Lawmakers to Bring Back the Corporate Millionaires’ Tax in Next State Budget


Speakers call on Governor Murphy and legislative leaders to pass a budget for the many, not a chosen few



February 22, 2024

TRENTON – In advance of Governor Murphy’s annual budget address, faith, community, labor, and advocacy leaders from For The Many NJ gathered outside the State House to call on Governor Murphy and state legislators to bring back the corporate surcharge instead of balancing the budget on the backs of New Jersey’s working families.

This comes one week after For The Many NJ delivered a letter signed by more than 40 organizations to the Governor and legislative leaders sounding the alarm on declining revenues and the need to reinstate the corporate surcharge.

The Corporate Business Tax (CBT) surcharge provided roughly $1 billion in annual funding for education, health care, infrastructure, and environmental programs. The governor and Legislature allowed the tax, paid by only the most profitable top two percent of corporations, to expire at the beginning of the year. With the corporate surcharge no longer in place, New Jersey is facing a budget deficit that will be passed to working people through fare hikes, toll increases, and potential cuts to public services and programs that families rely on.

“Reinstating a tax on the world’s wealthiest corporations to help pay for New Jersey’s buses, schools, and health care should be a no-brainer,” said Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective. “With sky-high corporate profits, now is not the time for state governments to pursue budget cuts and austerity. The state budget should be focused on improving affordability for low- and middle-income New Jerseyans, instead of a billion-dollar giveaway to Amazon and Walmart.”

“Hundreds of thousands of working-class people like myself rely on the bus to get to work every day to the wealthy corporations like Amazon that are recording record high profits while we struggle to make ends meet,” said Ana Ramirez, Passaic resident and Make the Road New Jersey member. “Why is Governor Murphy shifting to a series of regressive taxes? The working poor in New Jersey already contribute 5.7% of family income in sales tax while the top 1% pay only 0.9%. We demand Governor Murphy, Senate President Nick Scutari, and Speaker Craigh Coughlin reinstate the Corporate Business Tax to fund vital programs and public services like NJ Transit.”

“The state’s children are our future and they depend on adults to make the right decisions for their future. If lawmakers don’t reinstate the corporate business tax, over $1 billion won’t be available to help students learn, help pay for mental health services, install new ventilation systems in schools, pay for increased student transportation costs, or any other things our children need,” said Francine Pfeffer, Government Relations Associate Director, New Jersey Education Association. “A budget is a statement of priorities. It’s time for our lawmakers to step up and tell the children in this state that their needs are our state’s number one priority. Don’t give corporations a tax cut. Put our children first, before profits.”

“The State budget should be a reflection of our values, equity and justice. Yet the ethos of let the corporations and wealthy eat cake while the public gets crumbs or worse seems to be taking center stage – perpetuating pollution harms, wealthy and wrongdoers not held to account, bankrupting mass transit system, and crippling our schools,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action. “As we face difficult fiscal years ahead, Governor Murphy must set the table fairly by making corporations, wealthy and wrongdoers pay first and foremost by restoring the corporate business tax and eliminating inappropriate giveaways. Public funds must be reprioritized to enhance resiliency and reduce climate pollution, not make it worse with a $10+ billion highway expansion and more. If Governor Murphy believes in justice, then he must take all steps necessary to avoid balancing the budget on the backs of transit riders and everyday people.”

 “As corporations reap the benefits of profitability and huge tax breaks, NJ residents are dealing with housing costs that are making it hard to keep a roof over their heads,” said Matthew Hersh, director of policy and advocacy for the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ. “The rate of evictions is higher than ever before as corporate landlords raise rents at unconscionable rates — between 20 and 40 percent statewide. Although NJ has been able to invest in housing at historic levels under the Murphy Administration, revenue projections are putting all our progress in jeopardy. NJ cannot afford to veer off track when tackling our housing affordability crisis; the Corporate Business Tax surcharge is a key part in funding our future.”

“If we want to invest in our future then we need to find new revenue sources to fund our public transit system, to fully fund our pension, to provide property tax relief, and ensure we have the funds to stop massive school budget shortfalls,” said Economist and BlueWaveNJ President Marcia Marley. “The CBT surcharge is one of the very few revenue options that would be large enough to cover just the expected transit shortfall in 2025.”

“NJ legislators should support the corporate business tax to protect the financial stability of New Jersey. The revenue generated by this tax on wealthy corporations will support healthcare, transportation, education and other projects the residents of New Jersey rely on every day. Without this source of revenue, we will see a negative impact on New Jersey’s infrastructure,” Debbie White, RN, HPAE President said.

“9.4 million of us call New Jersey home. We contribute to the tax base, work hard, and raise our talented kids here and yet we struggle to make ends meet. Corporations that make millions in profits in our state can and should support the state’s budget so that all New Jerseyans thrive and are proud to call New Jersey home,” said Sara Lilja, Director, Lutherans Engaging in Advocacy Ministry NJ. “We call on the Governor to add back the Corporate Business Tax surcharge because NJ families, schools, transit, and our environment need to be supported! Morally, the NJ State budget must provide robust funding for cleaner affordable transit, high quality education for all learners, and housing for all families irrespective of income. New Jersey needs corporate citizens that are as interested in the welfare of the state as they are in profits!”

Watch a recording of the press conference here.

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For The Many NJ is a statewide coalition of more than 40 organizations working to expand funding for essential services and improve budget practices to meet current and future needs, especially for communities that have been historically left behind.

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