Friday Facts and Figures: February 21, 2020

Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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$15 Billion

Big tax cuts, worth $15 billion over the last 10 years, for the ultra-wealthy and large corporations have made it difficult for New Jersey to properly invest in the programs and services ordinary families rely on. That’s why NJPP has teamed up with faith-based organizations, labor unions, and advocates for transit, housing, the environment, and more to form For The Many. This coalition will push for a fairer tax code so New Jersey can meet its current obligations and make bold investments in its future. Learn more about the coalition in this op-ed by NJPP President Brandon McKoy. [NJ.com / Brandon McKoy]


$3 Billion

Earlier this week, members of For The Many stood on the steps of the State House to call for a new approach to budgeting that puts the needs of the many before those of corporate special interests. At the press conference, the coalition unveiled a roadmap for New Jersey to recapture $3 billion in revenue a year, mostly through ending Christie-era tax cuts. Proposals include: restoring the estate tax for ultra-wealthy heirs, raising the income tax on the state’s highest earners, broadening the sales tax to include high-end services and restoring the rate to 7 percent, and extending the corporate business tax surcharge. [NJTV News / Joanna Gagis and John Reitmeyer]


Near-Failing

Another goal of For The Many: promoting fiscal responsibility and transparency in the state budget process. According to a new study by the Volcker Alliance, this is sorely needed in New Jersey, which received a near-failing grades for budget forecasting and budget maneuvers. The report knocks New Jersey for not using consensus revenue forecasting, not conducting long-term revenue or expenditure projections, and for using one-shot revenue gimmicks and revenue diversions to pay for long-term investments. [NJ Spotlight / John Reitmeyer]


Hard Caps

In a new editorial, The Star-Ledger makes a strong case for hard caps on annual corporate subsidy spending. Hard caps on awards are a national best practice and remain the state’s best protection against future waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Here’s a great excerpt from the editorial: “And the core problem is that we never know for sure when companies are bluffing us, demanding big tax discounts to do what they intended to anyway… If a subsidy only rewards companies for a move they would otherwise make, all we get out of the deal is lost revenue.” [NJ.com / Editorial Board]


100

Dozens of immigrants and supporters protested in Newark on Thursday against a new plan by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deploy 100 officers and agents to “Sanctuary Cities.” For context, in 2018, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a statewide “Immigrant Trust Directive” to limit state and local police from participating in federal immigration enforcement to promote public safety and build trust between police and immigrant communities. Immigrant advocates, including Wind of the Spirit, are encouraging community members to report to them any sightings of ICE officers. [NorthJersey.com / Monsy Alvarado]


ICYMI

NJPP President Brandon McKoy was named one of the most influential people in New Jersey in this year’s NJBIZ Power 100. According to NJBIZ, Brandon is “one of the most progressive voices in the state for policies aimed at boosting economic security for the state’s working families.” Congratulations, Brandon, on the well-deserved recognition! [NJBIZ / Power 100]


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