Dem leaders set to introduce economic package

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) plan to unveil an ambitious economic package this morning consisting of numerous bills targeting job creation.

In response to sagging economic conditions, including 9.6% unemployment in the state, Sweeney and Oliver will propose assistance for both small and large businesses, changes to the tax structure, and a jobs training program based on labor department efforts in Georgia.

Some of the bills already exist. Others have yet to be written and/or sponsored. All cohere to form an economic attack plan, say sources familiar with package.

The core business stimulus would change the corporate business tax calculation to be based on state sales instead of the business’ total sales. A law would phase-in the tax calculation change over a three-year period, and would eliminate property or payroll tax in the state.

The key jobs creating piece of the Democratic leaders’ proposal would establish Work Now NJ, which would enable unemployed job seekers to receive workplace training from a potential employer for up to 24 hours per week for up to six weeks and $600.

The program is based on the Georgia Department of Labor’s Georgia Works. An “administrative assessment” fund, separate from the unemployment insurance trust fund, pays for Georgia’s program. The assessment uses a percentage of the taxes the department collects from employers for work-force training.

Another bill would consolidate business categories defined under the state’s gross income tax. Four of the gross income tax’s 16 separately defined categories of income would fall into a single category of business-related income, according to sources familiar with the economic stimulus plan, including net profits from business; net gains or net income derived from or in the form of rents, royalties, patents, and copyrights; distributive share of partnership income; and net pro rata share of S corporation income into “net business income,” a separate free-standing category of income subject to the gross income tax.

Dem leaders set to introduce economic package