Committees focus on stimulus spending

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                                                                                                                                        percent surcharge on taxes paid            and accountability of federal stimu-
Business braces                                                                                                                         by residents with incomes of               lus money available to New Jersey.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tax surcharge is
for state budget                                                                                                                        $250,000 or higher, Sen. Stephen                Lawmakers will discuss what         supposed to expire
                                                                                                                                        Sweeney (D-West Deptford) told             state projects are being considered
Business owners are bracing for                                                                                                         Bloomberg News. Corzine staffers           for funding and the deadlines for        A three-year-old temporary sur-
March 10 when Gov. Jon S. Corzine                                                                                                       have repeatedly said “everything           applying for the money, Roberts said.    charge that businesses pay on the
proposes a state budget that could                                                                                                      is on the table” to balance a                   “It’s imperative that New Jersey    Corporation Business Tax is sup-
include an income tax hike on resi-                                                                                                     budget deficit they claim is as            take advantage of every federal dol-     posed to expire at the end of June,           “We’re asking small
dents who make more than                                                                                                                large as $7 billion.                       lar available,” Roberts said. “Our       but business leaders aren’t holding           business to ride out
$250,000, as well as tax hikes on cig-                                                                                                        Corzine is also considering a        future will be shaped by how effec-      their breath that Gov. Jon S. Corzine
arettes and liquor.                                                                                                                     10-cents-a-pack increase in the            tively we spend this money, and          will let it die.                              a Category 5 storm
      “We appreciate the fact that                                                                                                      state’s $2.58-a-pack cigarette levy        President Obama has made it clear              “It certainly wouldn’t be sur-          with little more than
he’s looking at everything,” said                                                                                                       and higher taxes on liquor. He is          that he will hold everyone account-      prising if it were to be extended,” said           a life vest.”
Debra DiLorenzo, president of the                                                                                                       also mulling a wage freeze and 12          able. Ensuring proper oversight and      Mary Ellen Peppard, manager of
Chamber of Commerce Southern                                                                                                            days of unpaid time off for state          accountability is our role, and we       government relations at the New Jer-
New Jersey. “But given reports on                                                                                                       workers; and suspending property           will make sure we do this right.”        sey Chamber of Commerce.                      Laurie A. Ehlbeck, state
out-migration of the state’s highest                                                                                                    tax rebates for everybody but sen-              Roberts expects Monday hear-              Business leaders will find out              director, National
earners, I don’t think it’s a good idea                                                                                                 iors and the disabled. – Scott Goldstein   ings to focus on federal aid available   March 10 if Corzine intends to end
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Federation of
to raise the income tax on them.”                                                                                                                                                  to New Jersey for health care, higher    the surcharge when he presents a
      More than half the businesses                                                                                                                                                education, renewable energy, eco-        proposed state budget.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Independent Business,
in the state, such as S corporations,
                                                                                                                                        Committees focus                           nomic development and housing.                 The surcharge generates                    New Jersey, on the
are structured so taxes are paid                                                                                                        on stimulus spending                            Thursday’s hearings are             more than $100 million in a good              amount of relief for small
through the owner’s income taxes,                                                                                                                                                  expected to involve testimony on         business year, according to the               businesses in the federal
said Philip Kirschner, president of                                                                                                     TRENTON — Assembly Speaker                 transportation projects, education,      New Jersey Business & Industry                    stimulus funding.
the New Jersey Business & Industry                                                                                                      Joseph J. Roberts Jr. (D-Camden)           environmental infrastructure proj-       Association.
Association. “It’s a bad idea all-                                                                                                      announced that Assembly commit-            ects, human services and making                The surcharge was implement-
around,” he said.                                                                                                                       tees will devote their hearings Mon-       state buildings more energy effi-        ed in 2006 in the Corzine adminis-
      Corzine is considering a 5                                                                                                        day and Thursday to ensure oversight       cient. – Scott Goldstein                 tration’s first budget. – Scott Goldstein

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Description: Thursday's hearings are expected to involve testimony on transportation projects, education, environmental infrastructure projects, human services and making state buildings more energy efficient. -
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