TRENTON, N.J. – Buried in Phil Murphy’s budget is a “corporate responsibility fee.”
What’s that? Fair question. It’s a plan hatch by Democrats to compel large corporations to provide health insurance for their employees. If adopted by the legislature and signed into law, employers with more than 50 workers will be taxed $150 per every employee enrolled in Medicaid.
That covers around 1,000 New Jersey companies which cumulatively employee thousands of New Jerseyans.
Critics say it’s one more way to drive businesses out of New Jersey at a time when the Garden State consistently ranks as the least friendly business state.
“We need to incentivize businesses to grow and invest here, not chase them away with the second highest corporate tax in the country and now the reintroduction to New Jersey of some of the worst of Obamacare’s fines and penalty policies,” said NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt in a statement issued this week. “Every added assessment, even $150 per employee, is another signal to New Jersey’s business owners that they aren’t welcome here. We call on leaders from both sides to find honest solutions to New Jersey’s fiscal problems. Phil Murphy’s tax foolishness is no answer.”
Murphy’s budget proposal is likely to undergo changes as he begins negotiations with a sometimes hostile Democrat legislative majority. Last year’s budget process resulted in a shutdown before a resolution was ultimately reached.