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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New Jersey’s gas tax will increase by 4.3 cents on October 1, according to the state Treasury Department. This increase makes up for a $125 million shortfall in gas tax revenue. A provision in the 2016 legislation to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) mandates the gas tax bring in approximately $1.95 billion in annual revenue, and be increased or decreased to hit that target. [NorthJersey.com / Nicholas Pugliese]
When the legislature and then-Governor Christie raised the gas tax by 23 cents to replenish the TTF, they also cut the sales tax from 7 to 6.625 percent and eliminated the estate tax. These tax cuts primarily benefit New Jersey’s wealthiest households and account for $931 million in foregone revenue in fiscal year 2019. [NJPP / Jon Whiten]
New Jersey ranks 33rd in the nation on wage policies according to Oxfam’s Best States to Work Index. New Jersey’s minimum wage of $8.60 is only 30.3 percent of the living wage for a family of four, and the state does not allow local governments to pass their own minimum wage laws. [Oxfam]
Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 would boost the pay of 1.2 million New Jerseyans. This represents 28.6 percent of the state’s workforce. A $15 minimum wage would also pump $4.5 billion directly into the state’s economy, assuming all workers – regardless of age or sector – are covered by the wage increase. [NJPP / Brandon McKoy]
During budget negotiations in late June, the legislature passed a combined reporting bill to ensure multi-state and -national businesses cannot hide taxable income outside of New Jersey. Earlier this week, Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed the legislation and recommended changes to strengthen the bill and close loopholes. A strong combined reporting bill evens the playing field for New Jersey’s small businesses that cannot hide taxable income out of the state and is projected to bring in $110 million in annual revenue. [NJPP / Gordon MacInnes]
NJPP President Gordon MacInnes penned an op-ed in the Star Ledger on Senate President Steve Sweeney’s fiscal policy working group. Gordon argues that while the report proposes some sensible reforms, it fails to lay out a clear path to reinvesting in New Jersey’s historically underfunded assets. [NJ.com / Gordon MacInnes]
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