Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) today announced the membership of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group to evaluate the impact of the federal tax law on New Jersey’s economy, jobs, housing values and revenue collections and to assess the broad array of issues that impact taxes and spending at all levels of government in New Jersey.
“This initiative grew out of our concern over the impact of the federal tax law, which unfairly targets high-cost states like New Jersey by virtually eliminating the federal income tax deduction for state and local income, property and sales taxes,” said Sweeney. “We need to know how we can mitigate the negative impact of the federal tax plan and undertake a long-overdue examination of the adequacy, fairness and competitiveness of our tax structure. We want to make sure that government spending is efficient and effective so that we maximize the impact and minimize the costs.”
The panel of economists, tax experts and those with extensive experience on fiscal policy from academia and the public and private sectors will work under the bipartisan leadership of Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden).
“Everything is going to be on the table,” said Sarlo. “We’re going to look at the property tax impact. We’re going to look at what the feds are doing to us. We’re going to look at education funding. And we’re going to engage experts — independent experts.”
“We are facing a crisis – a crisis of competitiveness, a crisis in housing values, and a crisis that undermines our prospects for future economic growth,” said Oroho. “We need to know what our options are to mitigate the negative impact of the federal tax plan and we need to undertake a long-overdue examination of the adequacy, fairness and competitiveness of our tax structure.”
“We know that this is no small task and that it means confronting real fiscal and political challenges,” said Assemblyman Greenwald. “But this is not an academic exercise. We are committed to championing the tough measures needed to make New Jersey competitive, affordable and economically strong.”
Among the topics of analysis will be: the fairness and efficiency of our state and local tax system; county school districts; K-12 regionalization; options to control property taxes; the stabilization of the pension system; an assessment of the causes and extent of out-migration, and best practices in the delivery of government services at all levels to make New Jersey a better and more affordable place to live, said Senator Sarlo.
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex), chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden) and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Bergen/Hudson), the Senate Republican Budget Officer, will also serve on the panel. The Assembly members were asked by Speaker Craig Coughlin to serve on the working group.
The rest of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group:
· Dr. Joel Naroff, Naroff Economic Advisers Inc.;
· Dr. Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics;
· Dr. Michael Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service;
· Dr. Ray Caprio and Marc Pfeiffer, Rutgers Local Government Research Center;
· Richard Keevey, Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School;
· Dr. Henry Coleman, Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy;
· Dr. Donald Moliver and Peter Reinhart, Monmouth University’s Kislak Real Estate Institute;
· Dr. Spencer Levy, CBRE Group Inc.;
· Ralph Thomas, New Jersey Society of CPAs;
· Frank Chin and Ray Kljajic, American Public Infrastructure Inc.;
· Kurt Stroemel, H&RHS Financial Services;
· Jerry Maginnis, KPMG Philadelphia, Retired,& Rowan University;
· Former Senator Raymond Lesniak;
· Feather O’Connor Houston, former N.J. Treasurer.
The working sessions will be private and deliberative, Senator Sarlo said.
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