TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney (D – Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) and Senator Bob Gordon (D – Bergen, Passaic) today introduced legislation that will encourage small businesses to hire those who have been out of work for 30 or more days by providing them with a credit on their payroll taxes.
“Our 35 year high unemployment rate of 9.8% is simply unacceptable,” said Sweeney. “We have taken action before only to be stopped in our tracks by the governor. The governor’s ‘middle-class’ agenda may not include anything about jobs, but ours clearly does. We will continue to pick up the ball where he has dropped it.”
Under the bill, also known as the “New Jobs for New Jersey Tax Credit Program,” any business that employs 100 or fewer full-time people would become eligible for a tax credit against either their corporate businesses or gross income tax, whichever applies to them, for each unemployed person they newly hire. This applies to anyone who has been unemployed for more than 30 days.
“Tax breaks won’t lower unemployment if the people businesses are hiring to get a tax break already have jobs,” said Gordon. “Unemployment won’t go down unless businesses hire one of the many tremendously talented candidates who are currently unemployed. The jobless won’t have optimism if they keep getting passed over time and again. This is truly about putting people back on the radar so they can get back into jobs and get a paycheck.”
New Jersey’s unemployment rate reached 9.8% last month, the highest it has been since the 1970s and 1.5% higher than the national average. Last year, the Legislature passed a series of bills, known as the “Back to Work NJ” package, which would have helped spur businesses growth and create jobs. Many of the bills were cosponsored and passed in a bipartisan manner. Governor Christie vetoed nearly every single one of those bills, while failing to come up with alternatives of his own.
“It is important to note that ‘unemployed’ element of the bill. We want people moving off the unemployment rolls and we want to stimulate hiring among small businesses. Not only will this do something to reduce our 35 year high unemployment rate, but we specifically believe it can help reduce unemployment among those groups hardest hit, particularly women, the working poor, and minorities,” added Sweeney.