NEW JERSEY – Senator Steve Oroho blamed faulty forecasting by the Murphy Administration for an enormous business payroll tax increase set to take effect on October 30 to put money into the Unemployment Insurance Fund, which the Administration projected to be almost a billion dollars in the red by the end of June of this year.
In reality, the fund held more than $51 million on June 30, according to government documents; a billion dollar miss, Oroho said.
“After the Murphy Administration so poorly forecasted last year’s revenues which led them to borrow billions of dollars that proved to be completely unnecessary, they woefully forecasted the June 30 unemployment insurance trust fund balance. The unemployment insurance tax increase was not announced until Friday, August 13. There was plenty of time for the administration to recognize that their forecast was way off and to nix any tax increase,” said Senator Steve Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer.
Employers are facing a $252 million tax hike to replenish the fund, Oroho said.
Oroho and the Senate Republicans have pressed the Governor to appropriate money from federal relief funds, as dozens of other states have done, to stabilize the unemployment pool, and spare employers the looming tax hike. Federal fund support is still needed because the fund is now dealing with a $500 million debt that is growing every week as the Murphy Administration pays benefits due to New Jersey’s fourth-worst unemployment rate in the country.
“We know thousands of businesses closed and many barely survived through the pandemic and State lockdowns. For those still struggling, they may yet succumb due to this unnecessary added burden,” Oroho said. “The Senate Republicans provided the Governor with a pain-free solution that will save jobs and boost the economy, but the Murphy Administration seems merely set on more and bigger taxes.”