For the Many Calls for End to Yacht Tax Break to Help Fund the Pandemic Recovery
For Immediate Release
Jersey City — Surrounded by luxury yachts at the Hudson Point Marina in Jersey City, families harmed by the economic fallout from COVID-19 called on New Jersey lawmakers to end Christie-era tax breaks for wealthy families to fund the state’s pandemic recovery. The rally was held at the yacht club to draw attention to a 2015 law that capped the sales tax on the purchase of yachts. This tax break costs the state $15 million each year in foregone revenue.
“Immigrant families like mine that worked frontline jobs during the pandemic or lost their jobs have been completely left behind by government aid,” said Jenny L. of Perth Amboy, a member of Make the Road New Jersey. “When we ask for aid, the state says there is no funding. At the same time, billionaires are receiving tax breaks on their yachts to the tune of $15 million. As a mother of two daughters, I have struggled to put food on the table and can’t make rent because I’ve been left behind from aid. New Jersey must have its priorities straight. We need to fund the recovery so that all families can get back on our feet, not give tax breaks to the wealthy.”
The demonstration, organized by the For The Many NJ coalition, Make the Road NJ, and the Hudson County Progressive Alliance, called on state lawmakers to prioritize the needs of ordinary families, not corporate special interests, as they craft a budget for the next fiscal year. The three-month spending bill passed two weeks ago relied solely on cuts to public services that families rely on, especially now in the midst of a pandemic, while protecting Christie-era tax breaks that benefit wealthy individuals and big corporations.
“If New Jersey lawmakers are serious about providing relief for the workers, families, and small businesses who need it, then show us by ending tax breaks for those who need them the least.” said Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Tax cuts passed over the last decade have primarily benefited top-earning families and the state’s biggest businesses. This is not fair, and it’s not sustainable, especially now in the middle of a pandemic when the state’s finances are stretched thin.”
In total, New Jersey loses over $2 billion every year in foregone revenue from taxes that were eliminated, cut, or allowed to sunset under the Christie administration. Reinstating these taxes will make the tax code fairer and help lawmakers avoid devastating cuts to the social safety net as they draft a budget for the next fiscal year.
Watch a recording of the demonstration here:
For The Many is a statewide coalition of more than 30 organizations working collectively to expand funding for essential services and improve budget practices to adequately meet current and future needs, especially for communities that have been historically marginalized.
Steering committee members include: New Jersey Policy Perspective, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Work Environment Council, Environment New Jersey, Make the Road New Jersey, Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, New Jersey Education Association, Communications Workers of America – NJ, Amalgamated Transit Union – NJ, Clean Water Action – NJ.