Tax amnesty unfairly rewards deadbeats by ProQuest

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									                     Opinion
Tax amnesty unfairly rewards deadbeats                                                                                                                                                                                                       ®

STATE BUDGET WOES should not be an excuse                                     Tax Administrators. And every dollar counts dur-            them (see story at www.njbiz.com/delinquent).
to give tax deadbeats amnesty from penalties.                                 ing budget negotiations in this recession. But lift-        But now they can pay without penalty.                                   May 4, 2009
     But that’s what the cash-strapped state                                  ing all penalties is unfair to those businesses that              The state is issuing one threat: Anyone who
is doing, beginning May 4 (see story on Page 1).                              pay their taxes on time.                                    doesn’t take the amnesty offer by June 15 will suf-            How to Reach Us
In a bid to balance the budget and find                                            The outstanding amounts can be steep. As               fer a 5 percent penalty on top of existing interest       MAILING ADDRESS
funds, the state is offering a deal to delinquent                             of September, a Cherry Hill company owed $5.5               and penalty charges.                                      NJBIZ, 220 Davidson Ave, Suite 302
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Somerset, NJ 08873
taxpayers. Until June 15, nonpayers can                                       million in delinquent corporate taxes, accord-                    At least, until the next amnesty program is         PHONE (732) 246-7677
settle with the state and have all penalties                                  ing to a state Department of Treasury Web site              rolled out. ◆                                             FAX: EDITORIAL (732) 249-8886
waived. The state is even offering further                                    of tax deadbeats that has since been taken                                                                            FAX: ADVERTISING (732) 249-8952
enticement by forgiving half of any interest                                  down. And that’s just one example — the Web                     O u r       P o i n t        o f     V i e w          FAX: OPERATIONS (732) 846-0421
                                                                                                                                                                                                    SUBSCRIPTIONS (866) 288-7699
owed as of May 1.                                                             site showed more than 1,000 businesses that                                  What do you think?                       REPRINTS For article reprints, please
     The last amnesty program, in 2002, collect-                              ignored their tax responsibilities long enough                         Tell us at editorial@njbiz.com.                contact our reprint coordinator at
ed $276.9 million, according to the Federation of                             that a court judgment was entered against                                                                             Wright’s Reprints: 1-877-652-5295.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    For photos, please see www.njbiz.com/photos

                                                                                                                                                                                                    PUBLISHER
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thomas F. Curtin tcurtin@njbiz.com
    N J B I Z                  P o l l              R e s u l t s
                                                                              Business owners vexed over budget plan’s payroll tax hike                                                             ADVERTISING
                                                                                                                                                                                                    DIRECTOR OF SALES
                                                                              RESPONSES TO THE MOST recent NJBIZ poll indicate a growing amount of frustration and resentment on                    Mark Cialdella mcialdella@njbiz.com
    Which of these budget items from the governor’s                           the part of small-business owners and employees, as they attempt to weather a recession while bracing for             SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
        proposal will most harm your business?                                more tax hikes as part of the governor’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.                                Penelope Spencer pspencer@njbiz.com
                                                                                     An overwhelming majority of the nearly 300 voters cited a payroll tax hike as the most onerous pro-            ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Susan Alexander salexander@njbiz.com
    280                                                                       posal to come out of the budget blueprint.                                                                            Robin Fields rfields@njbiz.com
                                                                                     “I believe that adding an additional payroll tax hike per employee is a very unfair proposal,” wrote Toni      Lucille Lo Sapio llosapio@njbiz.com
                                                                              Musorrafiti, of EPS Corp. “We are a small business working hard to assure that the 600-plus personnel that we         Joe Malone jmalone@njbiz.com
    240                                                                                                                                                                                             John J. Morelli jmorelli@njbiz.com
                                                                              employ continue to have jobs, and the state of New Jersey continues to try to run businesses like us down.”           Merry Solomon msolomon@njbiz.com
    200                                                                              The idea of the state bleeding businesses to keep itself afloat was echoed by almost every responder
                   59%                                                        to the poll. Reader Russ Sterling wrote that the governor and his predecessors “raid” the unemployment                EDITORIAL
                                                                                                                                                                                                    EDITOR
    160                                                                       trust fund, and “when the well runs dry (surprise), they punish the employers, who have been the only ones            Sharon Waters swaters@njbiz.com
                                                                              filling the trust fund in the first place.”                                                                           DEPUTY EDITOR - NEWS
    120                                                                              That sentiment was echoed by Walter Brasch, of BeardMiller Co. LLP, who said Trenton “has done                 Joe St. Arney jarney@njbiz.com
                                         27%                                  nothing to rein in spending and continues to rely on tax increases to keep it business as usual.”                     DEPUTY EDITOR & REPORTER
                                                                                     “None of the proposals are any good for businesses or the economy,” said Daniel Trost, of Breakaway            Beth Fitzgerald bfitzgerald@njbiz.com
     80
                                                            15%               Communications, who tried to offer an alternative solution. “Let us taxpayers hold government to the same             Workplace Issues/General News
                                                                              standards they hold us in the private sector. If the state can’t stay afloat, then start trimming like we have to.”   COPY EDITOR
     40                                                                                                                                                                                             Meghan Shapiro mshapiro@njbiz.com
                                                                                     The most troubling responses came from readers who said they wonder whether they’ll be able to
                                                                                                                                                                                                    STAFF WRITERS
      0                                                                       continue doing business here as taxes continue to soar. Citing the unemployment trust fund, paid family      
								
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