Friday Facts and Figures: March 1, 2019

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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4th

A new era begins at NJPP, as Brandon McKoy takes over as the fourth — and youngest ever — president of the organization. Brandon joined NJPP in 2014 and has spearheaded research on labor and economic security issues. His analysis and advocacy were critical in the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage and the passage of a statewide paid sick days bill. Click the link to watch Brandon introduce himself as president! [NJPP]


719,418

In a new explainer, NJPP’s Erika Nava outlines the latest proposal to expand access to driver’s licenses to all New Jerseyans, regardless of immigration status. The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, would create two driver’s licenses — one compliant with the REAL ID Act and a standard basic license. The creation of a standard license would benefit 719,418 New Jersey residents — including undocumented immigrants, low-paid workers, and those reentering society from the criminal justice system — who may not have all of the documents necessary for a REAL ID. [NJPP / Erika Nava]


$204 Million

A new report by Politico found that 126 companies sold $204 million worth of New Jersey economic subsidies in 2017. The companies sold their tax credits, awarded by the beleaguered Economic Development Authority (EDA), as they often exceeded their entire tax obligation. To make matters worse, legislation quietly passed in 2018 exempts the sale of these tax credits from the sales tax. One has to ask, if the tax credits are more than what a corporation is paying in taxes, why is the state giving them out in the first place? [Politico / Matt Friedman]


$5 Billion

Tax collections for 2019 look tenuous, as the state is projected to come up $5 billion short in revenue for fiscal year 2019. Unless this gap is closed by income tax returns filed over the coming weeks, New Jersey will have to make up the difference with cuts to essential programs and services, increased taxes, or a combination of both. [NorthJersey.com / Dustin Racioppi]


< 1 Percent

Property taxes in New Jersey increased by less than 1 percent over the last year, the smallest increase in decades. This is a result of Governor Murphy and legislative leaders increasing public school funding by $350 million in last year’s state budget. More state aid in the budget leaves local school districts —and by extension, property tax payers — shouldering less of a burden.  [NJ Spotlight / Colleen O’Dea]


ICYMI

It’s that time of the year — early bird registration is now open for Progress2019: New Jersey on the National Stage! This is NJPP’s biggest event of the year and will include presentations and panel discussions with state and national policy experts. Join us on May 10th in New Brunswick as we explore long-term solutions that spread prosperity to the many, not a chosen few! [Register Now for Progress2019]


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