NJ lawmakers consider business tax cut

October 1, 2008 5:28:28 PM PDT
A proposal to cut taxes to New Jersey businesses will be discussed Monday. The bill revising corporate business taxes is scheduled for consideration as the Assembly meets in a special session focusing on the impact of the Wall Street financial crisis on the Garden State.

The measure would give businesses a chance to recoup their operating losses in future-year tax deductions. Specifically, it would allow companies to carry forward operating losses for up to 20 years instead of the seven years allowed now.

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Lou Greenwald said the legislation gives businesses a chance to remain competitive in recessionary times.

"This is aimed squarely at small businesses that are the lifeblood of this state," said Greenwald, D-Camden. "Small businesses need every chance to stay competitive, invest in their operations and retain precious jobs."

Greenwald said the new proposal builds upon business-friendly legislation that recently moved through the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

That seven-bill package updates New Jersey's business laws to make it easier for corporations to conduct operations here.

The proposal up for debate Monday matches how the federal government treats business losses' tax deductions. Several neighboring states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia have similar laws on the books, as does Washington, D.C.

The state's business community has been pushing for corporate tax cuts for years.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association's John Rogers, testifying before an Assembly panel last month, said providing tax incentives now makes sense.

"It's common practice in every state to encourage businesses to maintain operations and employment when times are tough by offering businesses the chance to recoup their current operating losses by way of future-year tax reductions," he said.

The Assembly will consider a broad economic agenda Monday, including debates on bills to boost business, promote jobs and protect homeowners from foreclosure.