Democrats and Republicans unite in New Jersey to stop Phil Murphy payroll tax from destroying small businesses

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A new disaster is looming over the horizon in New Jersey for both small businesses and workers…Phil Murphy’s payroll tax increase. Now, a Monmouth County Republican is speaking out about the October surprise that will pull more money from the pockets of hardworking New Jerseyans and place it into the governor’s public tax coffers which are already bursting at the seams.

He doesn’t need the money. He has $10 billion he can’t spend as it is, but that’s not the point. Remember, he once said if taxes are your number one issue, then you shouldn’t live in New Jersey? That’s right, he just wants your money because he can take it.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) warned that the looming payroll tax increase that Governor Phil Murphy will impose in October is the next disaster that will hit New Jersey’s struggling employers. Now, his fellow Democrats are joining Republicans to stop him.

“While Governor Murphy expressed sympathy for small businesses impacted by recent flooding and storm damage, he still plans on walloping them again next month with a big financial hit they can ill afford,” said O’Scanlon, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. “Unlike Hurricane Ida, the next disaster that will target New Jersey’s struggling employers is completely avoidable and preventable.”

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While appearing for a photo op at a tornado-damaged neighborhood on Thursday, Governor Murphy said, “We keep all of the victims, both individuals, families, small businesses on Main Street, in our prayers. Again, we will not relent, we will stand by the sides of everybody who has been impacted by this in New Jersey until we get back on our feet.”

O’Scanlon said the governor’s expressions of sympathy ring hollow when his administration still plans on imposing an unnecessary payroll tax increase in October that could be disastrous for thousands of small businesses across New Jersey.

“Shortly after telling battered business owners they’re in his prayers, Governor Murphy will order them to open their wallets and pay more to the government,” said O’Scanlon. “It’s hypocritical beyond belief, especially when it’s entirely unnecessary.”

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The Murphy administration will begin collecting increased payroll taxes from employers starting in October as its preferred solution to replenishing New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Since March, Senate and Assembly Republicans have advocated for Governor Murphy to accept an alternative plan that would prevent the economic harm, business closures, and job losses that will result from the unnecessary tax increase.

Republicans have proposed stabilizing the UI Fund with billions in federal pandemic relief funds already delivered to the State that have yet to be allocated or utilized, a solution employed by nearly 30 other states that New Jersey could easily adopt.

On Wednesday, Republican legislators circulated a petition (click here to view petition) to their Democrat colleagues that would constitutionally require the governor to call a special session of the Legislature to adopt legislative solutions to prevent the payroll tax increase and restore stability to the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund.

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“For thousands of employers that barely survived lockdown restrictions, pandemic-related losses, and recent storm and flood damage, the governor’s next hit may be the knockout blow,” added O’Scanlon. “That’s why it’s so important that Republicans and Democrats work together to stop Governor Murphy’s looming business tax increase. If they want to support jobs and businesses in their communities, every Democratic legislator should sign the petition that was delivered to each of their offices to call a special session. It’s the only guaranteed way to stop the next Murphy disaster.”

All 14 Republican members of the Senate and 28 Republican members of the General Assembly have signed the petition.

It would only take the signatures of seven Democrats in the Senate and 13 in the General Assembly to provide the majority needed in each house to force Governor Murphy to call a special session of the Legislature to stop the tax increase.