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Doria Bill To Repeal Air Toxics Surcharge Approved In Committee

Measure Touted for Bringing Back Fairness and Equitability for Business in NJ

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph V. Doria which would repeal last year’s air toxics surcharge in order to create a more equitable regulatory environment for New Jersey businesses was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee by a vote of 12-0.

“While the environment must be of the utmost concern to all residents of New Jersey, including corporate residents, the air toxics surcharge has been widely regarded as unfair and overly harsh on manufacturers in the State,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “Our State’s Department of Environmental Protection has even supported repealing the surcharge, due to the fact that it isn’t an effective environmental safeguard, but rather a budget revenue raiser. Even though we’re in yet another tight budgetary cycle, we must exercise fairness with our State’s business partners, and repealing the air toxics surcharge would accomplish just that.”

The bill, a Senate Committee substitute for S-2124 and S-2385, would repeal the air toxics surcharge enacted as part of budget-related legislation in June of 2004. The surcharge law has come under fire from business and industry advocates in New Jersey as being overly burdensome and inequitable. Senator Doria added that he believes that both the environmental and business interests can be accommodated by repealing the air toxics surcharge.

“The air toxics surcharge has little to no impact on the environmental protection of the State, and appears to exist solely to raise money for the budget,” said Senator Doria. “While I have no qualms about businesses paying their fair share to help the State, I think we have to be cognizant of the threshold at which we move beyond a fair share and into burdensome taxation that has a negative impact on jobs and economic development in New Jersey. We need to balance protections for the environment and business, and repealing an unfair surcharge that penalizes business without benefiting the environment is a big step towards achieving balance.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The identical Assembly counterpart, A-3667/A-3836, was approved by the Assembly in March.

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