Friday Facts and Figures

Friday Facts and Figures: February 8, 2019

New study finds millionaires' taxes spur critical public investments. Two members of New Jersey's congressional delegation co-sponsor Green New Deal.

Published on Feb 8, 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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It’s official — New Jersey is the fourth state in the nation on a path to a $15 minimum wage! On Monday, Governor Murphy signed the landmark bill into law at the office of Make the Road – New Jersey in Elizabeth. The first increase will occur on July 1 of this year, as the minimum wage for most workers will rise from $8.85 to $10.00 an hour. The minimum wage will then increase by $1.00 every year on January 1 until it reaches $15.00 in 2024. [ / Dustin Racioppi]


While New Jersey’s minimum wage is getting a much-needed boost, the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Had the federal wage floor kept up with inflation over the last ten years, full-time minimum wage workers would earn an additional $2,578 per year. This loss of purchasing power means that minimum wage workers across the country need to work an extra 44 days each year to earn the same, in real terms, as they did in 2009. [Center for American Progress / Rachel West]


Since the expansion of New Jersey’s subsidy programs in 2013, approximately 30 percent of all awards have been given to companies based in Camden County. The average cost per job created or maintained by these projects? $224,000. The most extravagant per job awards were given to Holtec and the Philadelphia 76ers, who received $658,000 and $328,000 per job, respectively. The per job cost of New Jersey’s subsidy programs has exploded since the early 2000s, when the average per job cost was $16,427. [ROI-NJ / Tom Bergeron]


A new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines the experiences of eight states that have implemented a “millionaires’ tax” since 2000 and finds no evidence that these tax reforms harm economic growth in the short term. Instead, the report concludes that raising top income tax rates can generate substantial revenue for public investments — like early education, higher education, and transportation infrastructure — that boost a state’s productivity in the long run. Last year New Jersey implemented a new tax bracket for the state’s top-earners, but it only applies to incomes over $5 million. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities / Wesley Tharpe]

100 Percent

On Thursday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced the framework for a “Green New Deal,” which seeks to decarbonize the economy. The plan calls for meeting 100 percent of the nation’s power demand with clean, renewable energy sources through a ten year national mobilization. Two members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation — Senator Cory Booker and Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman — have signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution. [NPR / Danielle Kurtzleben]


NJPP is celebrating former president Gordon MacInnes’s contributions to our organization and the state of New Jersey on February 21, 2019 at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. We hope you will join us in commemorating Gordon’s 55+ year career in public policy! [RSVP for Gordon’s Celebration]

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