Economic advisors brainstorm tax policy goals

TRENTON – New Jersey ranked last in the nation in 2007-10 in tax burden.

It rose to 48th last year.  But as Robert Grady, chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors put it: That is nothing to create a slogan around.

Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told approximately 20 members of the council as well as business and tax policy experts during  a roundtable discussion Thursday that while the governor has already put in place $200 million worth of tax reforms such as the net loss carry-forward provision, much needs to be done.

He said the state wants to push a two-pronged strategy: Enacting a robust package of tax incentives such as the urban transit hub tax credit; and creating tax policies overall that make the state more competitive.

Over the next five years, according to the treasurer, that effort could lead to tax breaks and/or incentives nearing $700 million.

On a daily basis, he said, businesses leaders make incremental decisions. “What we need to do is create an environment in which New Jersey is winning more of those calls,’’ he said.  Those calls need to break in favor of creating jobs and spurring investment.

The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors roundtable included experts such as N.J. Business and Industry Association President Philip Kirschner, Edison Venture Capital managing partner Joe Allegra, and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research senior fellow Josh Barro.

“If we can continue to control spending and tame the budget beast to the extent that more resources are available, the council is charged with considering which tax reductions or reforms would have the greatest bang for the buck” in the future, Grady said.

Economic advisors brainstorm tax policy goals