Keeping an eye on the legislation in Trenton affecting New Jersey taxpayers!

Click here to see AFP’s Taxpayer Scorecard Midterm for the 2014-2015 Legislative Session!

Below are the major fiscal bills for the current two-year legislative session (2014-2015) on AFP’s radar along with their status. Look for the bills with active action alerts and be sure to click on them to make your voice heard! CLICK HERE to search bills and their status on the NJ Legislature website!

Pending Bills (Introduced or Voted on by One or Both Chambers)

  • Gas Tax Hike (A3886) – Proposal to raise NJ’s gas tax 25 cents per gallon! (AFP Position: NO) TAKE ACTION to Stop this Gas Tax Hike!
  • Estate Tax Repeal (A329/S353) – Five-year phase out of New Jersey’s estate tax. (AFP Position: YES) TAKE ACTION to Repeal NJ’s Death Tax!
  • Paid Sick Leave Mandate (A2354/S785) – Forces New Jersey employers to provide paid sick leave. Another onerous mandate that will hurt New Jersey job creators, especially small business owners and start-ups which are least able to cope with the added expense. (AFP Position: NO)
  • 80% Renewable Energy Mandate (S2444) – This bill arbitrarily mandates that 80% of NJ’s electricity mix come from alternative sources by 2050, including costly and inefficient solar panels and wind turbines. In comparison, today the state mandates 22.5% by 2021; a goal which has so far proven unreachable. Nonetheless, an 80% target, if ever achieved, would be disastrous for NJ’s economy, resulting in skyrocketing rates, significantly lower economic growth and massive job loss. (AFP Position: NO)
  • “Atlantic City Growth Tax Credit Program” (A4004/S2654) – Americans for Prosperity desires nothing less than to see a prosperous Atlantic City. However, the path to AC’s renewal rests with allowing the free market to work, not through central planning. It is folly to think that awarding tax breaks to developers to build more housing in AC, as this bill seeks to do, will bring the city back or result in anything but more failure. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Resolution Asserting DEP Repeal of NJ’s Cap & Trade Rules Not Consistent with Legislative Intent (ACR189/SCR125) – Part and parcel of Legislature’s crusade to re-impose the job-destroying RGGI Cap & Trade electricity tax. (AFP Position: NO | Status: Passed Senate)
  • New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Scheme (A470) – Latest attempt to pass this radical and offensive piece of legislation. This bill authorizes the State to borrow billions of dollars to purchase foreclosed homes without voter approval, turn them into “affordable housing units”, and house them with people with drug addicts, ex-cons, and sex offenders. (AFP Position: NO | Status: Passed Assembly)
  • Corporate Welfare Tax Credits for Film and Digital Media Industry (A2474/S779) – Growing New Jersey’s economy and improving our business climate requires lowering taxes across the board, not enacting these kinds of ineffectual handouts to favored industries. (AFP Position: NO | Status: Passed Senate)
  • Bans Drilling for Oil and Natural Gas (A2515/S1513) – Prohibits issuance of DEP permits and approvals for development related to drilling for oil and natural gas off NJ coast. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Transparency in Government Act (A103/S1965) – AFP supports this measure aimed at opening the state’s books and posting all information on revenue, expenditures and debt online. (AFP Postion: YES | Status: Passed Assembly)
  • Pay Raise for Certain Government Officials (A2739) – This bill would authorize pay raises for members of the Governor’s cabinet and the Judiciary. AFP believes the pay raise is unjustified, particularly given many of these officials are already well compensated. Moreover, increasing their compensation will only exacerbate the pension and benefit crisis the State is currently facing. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Paid Sick Leave Reform (A158) – AFP supports this measure to rein in unused sick leave payouts. The bill would prohibit government workers from being compensated for unused sick time after date of enactment. Supplemental compensation would be suspended for any employee or official under criminal indictment; conviction would result in complete forfeiture. (AFP Position: YES)
  • RGGI Cap & Trade Constitutional Amendment (ACR81) – An outrageous attempt to force New Jersey back into this Obama-style Cap & Trade scheme via constitutional amendment. (AFP Position: NO)
  • RGGI Cap & Trade Bill (A1763/S151) – Attempt to force NJ back into the RGGI Cap & Trade scheme (AFP Position: NO | Status: Passed Senate)
  • Supplemental Family Planning Appropriation (A3422/S784) – Annual attempt to restore $7.453M in family planning spending. Gov. Christie has vetoed each year in office. (AFP Position: NO)
  • ObamaCare Exchange (S534) – A bill to implement an ObamaCare exchange in NJ as part of the failing government health care takeover. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Minimum Wage (A3912) – AFP opposes this measure which would allow cities and towns to impose their own minimum wage. Such a policy has proven disastrous in the City of Seattle where a $15/hour wage was imposed, and it will only make New Jersey an even less hospitable place to do business. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Offshore Wind Project Bill (A4128/S2711) – This bill removes all pretenses that the proposed offshore wind project off the AC coast is economically beneficial by exempting the project from cost-benefit analysis. (AFP Position: NO)

Enacted Bills/Resolutions Passed/Judicial Appointments

  • FY 2015 Budget (A3482/S2015) – FY 2015 $34.1B budget appropriation reduced to $32.5B subsequent to line item vetoes. Additional spending fueled by proposals to hike the income and corporate business tax (see below under Vetoed Bills). While this budget reduces spending year-over-year, the end result was due to significant revenue shortfalls of $1.9B compared to Gov. Christie’s original $34.4B budget proposal. (AFP Position: NO | Status: Enacted with Line-Item Veto)
  • Re-Appointment of Chief Justice Rabner – AFP opposed the reappointment of Stuart Rabner as Chief Justice due to his long record of judicial activism. Chief Justice Rabner was reappointed by the Senate through 2030.
  • Interest Arbitration Cap (A3424) – Extension of 2% cap on binding arbitration; part of larger 2% property tax cap.
    • Note: A previous version of the legislation (A3067/S1869 Reprint) was conditionally vetoed by the governor, accepted by the Senate but not voted on in the Assembly. AFP supported the CV.
  • ObamaCare Resolution (AR40) – A resolution urging the Governor to apply $7.67M in federal funds for ObamaCare outreach. (AFP Position: NO)
  • RGGI Cap & Trade Resolution (AR48) – An inane resolution urging NJ’s participation in the RGGI scheme under a ruse of “national security and energy independence.” (AFP Position: NO)
  • Constitutional Amendment on Open Space (ACR130/SCR84) – Amends the state Constitution to fund “open space” by redirecting the prior 4% CBT dedication and increasing the amount to 6% in FY 2021. AFP believes these revenues should have been used to pay down debt, help address our pension/benefit crisis or provide tax relief to help grow our economy. Additionally, with one-third of the state’s lands already off limits, AFP opposes the goal set forth by the DEP to the amount of preserved land to 43%. Finally, AFP objects to the lack of a sunset provision in the amendment which, in effect, makes this revenue stream infinite. (AFP Position: NO | Status: Passed via Ballot Referendum)

Vetoed Bills

  • “Millionaire’s Tax” (A3485/S2263) – Key component of Democrat’s tax-and-spend budget: Increased top-end income tax rate from 8.97% to 10.75% on individuals and businesses earning $1M or more for three years; restored the State earned income tax credit to 25 percent of the federal credit. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Corporate Business Tax Surcharge (A3484/S2262) – Another key component of Democrat’s tax-and-spend budget: Imposed a one-year fifteen percent surcharge on Corporation Business Tax liabilities. (AFP Position: NO)
  • Family Planning Medicaid Expansion (A2795/S1203) – Extends Medicaid family planning coverage to persons with incomes up to 200% of federal poverty level. (AFP Position: NO)

CLICK HERE to find and contact your legislators!