A budget battle for business

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					      T H I S        W E E K

                                                                                                                                                                       Going all in
The New Jersey business community
                                                                                                                                                                                 A nightlife developer
has high hopes for the new lieutenant                                                                                                                                           bets on an Atlantic City
governor position, but few details have                                                                                                                                        project while others stall,
been mapped out by the state regard-
                                                                                                                                                                                  lose funding. Page 19
ing broader responsibilities.
Page 8
                                                                                                                                                      CONSTRUCTION / ARCHITECTURE SPOTLIGHT
Real Estate
                                                 A L L     B U S I N E S S         ◆   ALL NEW JERSEY                             $2.00                    MARCH 30, 2009                     www.njbiz.com

                                            Shovel-ready for stimulus funding
                                            State hit the ground running to                                                                                                              ‘We are taking things that

                                                                                                   Steven J. Dundas
                                                                                                                                                                                         used to be on our wish
The recession cools off Metropark office    quickly create work for business                                                                                                             list and getting them into
building complex after a long line of                                                                                                                                                    our to-do list now that we
leasing activity.                                            BY SHANKAR P.
                                                                                                                                                                                         have the money to do it,’
Page 10                                     SIX WEEKS AFTER President Barack Obama
                                                                                                                                                                                         said Jerold Zaro, head of
                                            signed the federal stimulus package into law, New
Finance                                     Jersey already has lined up dozens of shovel-ready
                                                                                                                                                                                         the state’s Office of
                                                                                                                                                                                         Economic Growth. Zaro
                                            projects, some of which are now seeking bids.
                                                                                                                                                                                         will not be involved with
                                                 A dozen legislative meetings found ways to
                                                                                                                                                                                         spending any of the
                                            spend the state’s share of those funds in the weeks
                                                                                                                                                                                         money from the federal

                                                   Follow the Money
                                                                                                                                                                                         stimulus package,
                                                                                                                                                                                         but he is working with
                                                                                                                                                                                         the governor to
                                                   Tracking federal stimulus dollars                                                                                                     streamline state processes
Customers who have fallen behind                     from Washington to Trenton                                                                                                          so that shovels can hit the
on making payments have caused                                                                                                                                                           ground faster.
                                            after the law was signed. New Jersey has $17.5 bil-
small-business owners to crack down
                                            lion — a 3.2 percent share — of nearly $550 billion
on their collection policies and demand
money upfront.                              of federal stimulus dollars that will be available
Page 12                                     over three years. It wants to garner at least a 3 per- like the transportation and environmental                  been queued up for some time, said Jerold Zaro,
                                            cent share of another $240 billion in competitive departments, with oversight from Ed McBride,                    head of the state’s Office of Economic Growth. “We
Sales Tips                                  grants and some tax breaks, and is                               the governor’s chief of staff, and Matt          are taking things that used to be on our wish list
Page 15                                                                              Inside
                                            urging local governments, com- • Economic Development Boxer, the state’s comptroller, who                         and getting them into our to-do list now that we
                                            munity organizations and individ- Authority playing indirect will jointly lead a team overseeing                  have the money to do it,” he said.
Opinion                                     uals to bid for them.                    role in funding. Page 4 stimulus spending.                                    The most direct and immediate impact on
Our Point of View: Business advocates
                                                 Deployment of the stimulus                                       Many of the projects now identi-            business opportunities comes from the $1.38 bil-
need to speak out against Gov. Jon S.
                                            funds will fall under the charge of state agencies, fied for funding from the stimulus package have                                    ➤➤ See   FUNDS on page 5
Corzine’s proposed payroll tax increase,
and offer alternative solutions to raise
money for the unemployment fund.
Also, Political Exchange, Corner Office
and Letters to the Editor.
Page 16
                                            A budget battle for business Here’s your pink slip.
A local developer plans to preserve and
                                            Proposals suggest cuts to program funds to save state spending
                                                       BY SCOTT GOLDSTEIN                              “It’s our philosophy that in this tough
                                                                                                                                                     We’ll see you in court
reuse the former Bell Labs building as a
mixed-use community.                        TRENTON — It won’t be easy, but lobbyists            economy, everyone should be asked to                Employers look to avoid layoff lawsuits
                                            are gearing up to fight some of the tax              tighten their belt, and that includes every
Page 19
                                            increases set to hit business owners under the       state department and every program,”                                     BY MARTIN C. DAKS
Scene                                       $29.8 billion state budget
Description: The chamber also wants lawmakers to explore low-interest loans from the U.S. Labor Department to beef up the state's dwindling Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund as a way to avert the payroll tax hike. Business advocates say business owners would carry too heavy a burden under Corzine's budget by getting hit - depending on the structure of the business - with some of four different taxes: * The payroll tax hike, expected to cost between $70 and $95 per worker, is designed to raise $350 million for the unemployment insurance fund. * A one-year income tax increase of 0.75 percent on individuals making more than $500,000.
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