Moreover, outmigration (residents moving out of New Jersey), places New Jersey last among all other states. For example, in 2013 alone, New Jersey lost $3 billion in net adjusted gross income via outmigration.
Against this backdrop, Michele N. Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, on June 3 called for a comprehensive reform agenda to make New Jersey affordable for the middle class.
During a conference call yesterday with the state’s business and Statehouse reporters, Siekerka said she was concerned about a “trifecta” of legislation—the threat of constitutionally mandating pension payments; the possibility of mandated paid sick leave for all New Jersey employees; and a potential $15 minimum wage.
Siekerka stressed, “[New Jersey] entered 2016 with positive vibes for continued, steady growth, and we learned this from our [NJBIA] Business Outlook Survey, at the beginning of the year. But, then, within a matter of weeks, if not days, [that] piling on of economic policies commenced.”
Siekerka stressed, “Rather than raising and addressing policies that will have a significant impact on New Jersey’s economy, in isolation – as we tend to do – we need to focus on a comprehensive reform agenda that will make New Jersey affordable for all New Jersey residents.”
In addition to the “trifecta,” a recent rental survey ranked New Jersey worst among all states, with rental costs increasing 32 percent from 2007 to 2012. Likewise, healthcare costs have increased 36 percent, and, overall, taxes equate to 24 percent of a typical family’s budget.
Siekerka concluded, “NJBIA is ready to continue this discussion, and we welcome the opportunity to have this more comprehensive discussion, of how we look at both sides of the balance sheet, and start bringing more affordability to the State of New Jersey.”