New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) said today that all legislators concerned about job creation should support a broad based reduction in the corporate tax rate as recently proposed by Governor Christie. Kean stated that New Jersey's large corporate tax burden is the chief impediment to sustainable, permanent job creation:
"A corporate tax rate of 9% practically shows the door to employers and the jobs they sustain and create," said Senator Kean. "One need only look to the closing of Sony's Pitman plant to understand the consequences our state faces should we fail to act. 300 people in South Jersey employed by that facility are set to lose their livelihoods because it is cheaper to do the work in Indiana. A fact of life in this challenging economy is that job creators will move to the lowest cost environment. If New Jersey chooses not to compete, we will continue to lose jobs and talented citizens to other states."
Governor Christie said he will propose a reduction in the corporate tax rate as part of his annual budget address during a recent interview with CNBC.
Sony announced earlier this month that it will close, rather than reduce its workforce at, its South Jersey manufacturing plant. The Pitman factory's operations will be transferred to a facility in Terra Haute, Indiana- citing cost concerns. Indiana's corporate tax rate is 8.5%.
Kean said that small, targeted tax incentives do not go far enough in spurring job creation at a time of record unemployment. "With all due respect to the Majority, we cannot afford to think small any longer," Kean continued. "When over nine percent of New Jersey workers cannot find a job, the problem is greater than what can be solved by tinkering around the edges with half measures. The business tax levy is the most significant factor for employers in determining whether they will stay here or go elsewhere. It is time New Jersey get in the game, make our tax rate more business friendly, and compete for those jobs."