Bitter medicine to salve business tax painSomeone seeking the governorÂs office has put forth a plan to stem the tide of fleeing businesses.
Independent challenger Chris Daggett bases his plan on the sitting governorÂs hugely unpopular sales-tax hike, which he delivered to help balance the stateÂs budget in the summer of 2006.
But Daggett doesnÂt seek to roll the tax back to its 6 percent level; rather, he wants the sales tax to cover personal, professional and household services, exempting business-to-business services. In an address in Trenton last week, the former commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection said the move would generate $3.9 billion for the state.
That alone is unlikely to win over consumers feeling squeezed by the recession, but Daggett wants the money dedicated for relief of corporate, income and property taxes. He wants to cut the corporate tax from 9.36 percent to 7 percent, and the top income tax bracket from 10.75 percent to 8.97 percent, while replacing property tax relief programs with a 25 percent property tax cut Â up to $2,500 Â for all homeowners.
ÂWeÂve shifted from a goods-based economy to a service economy,Â Daggett said in last weekÂs news conference, and the stateÂs tax system hasnÂt kept up with the change.
The plan has its obvious shortcomings Â itÂs tough to imagine anyone excited about paying sales tax on a summer rental, for instance Â but we give Daggett credit for coming up with a plan to put air in the stateÂs claustrophobic business climate as the drumbeat of fleeing feet grows ever more prevalent and the moving vans take more one-way trips across the Delaware River.
Now, if only his opponents would take a break from slinging mud to develop plans of their own, companies and residents might consider keeping their New Jersey address past Election Day.
What do you think? Tell us at [email protected].