Business leaders oppose N.J. tax surcharge on wealthiest, increased corporate levy

 Business leaders gather on the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse to voice opposition to a tax hike proposal in the Democrats' new state budget plan. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks))

Business leaders gather on the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse to voice opposition to a tax hike proposal in the Democrats' new state budget plan. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks))

New Jersey business leaders gathered on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton to show their opposition to a tax hike proposal advanced by Democrats in the Legislature.

The new state budget plan proposed by Democratic lawmakers calls for an income tax surcharge on millionaires and an increase in the corporate business tax.

Melanie Willoughby, acting president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said Tuesday that raising taxes sends the wrong message to businesses.

“They will make it more difficult for us to create jobs, encourage investment, and grow the economy,” she said. “And isn’t that what New Jersey has been trying to do for the past four years? Let’s not turn back the clock.”

The millionaires’ tax is needed so the state can fully fund its pension system contribution, said Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto.

“Somebody making over a million dollars should be, and I think would be, willing to be paying that little extra to help the rest of the residents,” said Prieto, D-Hudson.

If the Legislature approves the tax increase, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to veto it.

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