N.J. employers face wage tax increases of 0M | Economy | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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N.J. employers face wage tax increases of $340M

Socolow043009_optBY TOM HESTER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

With 375,000 New Jerseyans collecting jobless benefits, employers face an increase of $340 million in wage taxes during the state government's 2009-10 fiscal year, state Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner David J. Socolow  said Thursday.

But it could have been worse, Socolow told the Assembly Budget Committee in Trenton. He said if Gov. Jon Corzine and the Legislature had not made ''historic'' infusions of cash into the state unemployment insurance fund over the past 10 months, the total increase would have been $886 million, a $546 million difference.

Socolow maintained previous administrations weakened the fund by diverting more than $4.7 billion to other uses over a period of 14 years. He said Corzine and the Legislature transferred a total of $380 million from the state general fund this year and last year, actions that helped New Jersey qualify for a $207 million in federal unemployment insurance aid on March 31, in time to count for the calculation of the new fiscal year’s wage tax levy.

Socolow said that without the addition of this extra $587 million to the state fund, the annual rate calculation for the 2009-10 fiscal year would automatically have triggered an increase of approximately $886 million in wage tax revenues from all employers.

 

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