NJCPA Supports Path to Progress Legislative Package

 – May 16, 2019
NJCPA Supports Path to Progress Legislative Package

Statement by Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA,
CEO and Executive Director, NJCPA

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) strongly endorses the reform recommendations spelled out by the New Jersey Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup in its “Path to Progress” report and is pleased that many of the recommendations are now included in a sweeping new package of bills introduced today by Senate President Steve Sweeney.

The Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup, which was created by Senate President Sweeney and is co-chaired by Sen. Paul Sarlo, Sen. Steven Oroho and Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, issued its Path to Progress report in 2018 to identify ways to improve the state’s economic growth and competitiveness. Along with other non-legislative members, I am proud to say I sit on the 25-member workgroup.

The NJCPA is focused on the following recommendations that are crucial to getting the state’s economy back on track:

  • Public worker pension plan. Shift new state and local government employees and those with less than five years of service in the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund from the current defined benefit pension system to a sustainable hybrid system and preserve the current system for employees with over five years of service who have vested contractual pension rights.
  • Public worker health benefits. Shift all state and local government employees and retiree’s health care coverage from Platinum to Gold.
  • Small business tax relief. Enact legislation enabling Subchapter S-Corporations, Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) and Partnerships to pay State taxes equivalent to the Gross Income Tax obligations of their owners and partners, thus making the State tax payments deductible on their federal taxes. This change will provide a $450 million per year federal tax cut for the majority of New Jersey small business owners, professionals and their families at no cost to the State.
  • Economic best practices. Establish a permanent Economic and Fiscal Policy Review Commission made up of economists, academics and tax experts to provide an ongoing review of taxation best practices and report back to the Governor and the Legislature on an ongoing basis.

The NJCPA has long advocated for policies that will generate economic growth and supported a fair tax system that enables companies and individuals to thrive.

We applaud Senate President Sweeney for recognizing the detrimental impact of the cumulative costs being placed on New Jersey citizens and businesses. We look forward to working with legislators on this critical effort.