New Jersey is trying to help residents work from home and avoid their commutes to New York by offering several tax breaks

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has proposed offering incentives to employers for establishing work-from-home policies and hybrid staffing in an effort to end double taxation for residents who traveling to New York City.

Murphy made the proposal Tuesday in his annual policy speech in Trenton — his first in person since the coronavirus pandemic — without providing details. The second-term governor, a 65-year-old Democrat and retired Goldman Sachs The senior director of Group Inc., came to office in January 2018 with promises to revive the economy of New Jersey. Since November, the state unemployment rate was 3.4%, below neighboring New York’s 4.3% and Pennsylvania’s 4%.

Across the River

About 400,000 New Jerseyans work in New York City and pay $3.7 billion a year in New York taxes, according to US Representative Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat. Each such resident can save nearly $20,000 in annual taxes and travel costs by staying in New Jersey full-time, according to Gottheimer.

“In the new, post-pandemic business environment, not every new job created for a New Jerseyan will be housed in a physical office in New Jersey,” Murphy said in his speech. “For many New Jerseyans, remote work is here to stay. So, let’s take this opportunity to focus on encouraging jobs in New Jersey, wherever they are, even if they’re in a office in Newark or at a kitchen table in Cherry Hill.

Murphy’s proposal is one more advance in a broad strike in New York to end the continuing out-of-state tax burden after the pandemic spawned permanent work-from-home or hybrid arrangements. Bipartisan New Jersey legislation, introduced last year, would provide a $2,000 bonus for residents who successfully appeal their New York tax bills. The proposal would adopt the “employer convenience” rule, where New York would collect income tax from nonresident commuters. New Jersey will begin a $25 million grant program to encourage New York businesses to open offices in New Jersey.

“If you’re paying full freight for the old, traditional commute to work every day when you’re actually in a hybrid reality now, that’s not fair,” Murphy told Bloomberg. TV in November.

Double Taxation

New Jersey is one of 14 states that in 2020 submitted a brief to the US Supreme Court to support New Hampshire’s efforts to end the same double taxation rule as Massachusetts. The high court did not accept the case.

New Jersey, unlike neighboring New York, relaxed restrictions on employer income, business and sales taxes throughout the pandemic as workers fled hard-hit cities to work remotely.

The turmoil in Washington leaves Murphy with a timely opportunity to begin auditioning for a possible Democratic presidential run. As he sets the agenda for the coming year, however, the state’s minority – Republican parties are eager to say any bragging points. Republicans applauded a federal judge’s ruling Monday that suspended the concealed-carry limits signed by Murphy on Dec. 22. Late last year they criticized his handling of $6.2 billion in federal aid that pandemic, noting that only about $1 billion was spent.

On Tuesday, Republican lawmakers said Murphy could bring immediate inflation relief to the state by spending unallocated aid.

“Instead of solving big problems with federal aid funds, like fixing our broken unemployment and motor-vehicle computer systems, Democrats have nothing to show for the windfall that we received,” said Senate Republican Leader Steve Oroho.

New Jersey last year scored credit upgrades from Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, and each agency has a positive outlook on the state’s debt. Murphy sought such confirmation of his financial management.

“The rating agencies trust our leadership,” the governor said. “These new ratings mean money saved, literally, for every New Jersey taxpayer.”

A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll in November found Murphy’s approval at 40%, with 42% disapproving. Only 30% of Democrats say he should run for president, according to the survey of 801 residents. The October 24-Nov. 1 poll of 801 residents has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Political Action

Murphy’s wife and a former administration official last year started a political action committee and an advocacy group, each with the ability to raise money to support a presidential run.

Although Murphy said he is confident Joe Biden will seek re-election, his speech was heavy on progressive policy — including legal marijuana and access to abortion — that he favors pushing beyond borders. in New Jersey.

Now Murphy is preparing $2 billion in relief checks, expected in May, for homeowners and renters who pay the highest property taxes in the country, averaging $9,284 in 2021. Last week he signed legislation to speed up construction permits, which he said would lead to cheaper construction. house; funded abortion-provider safety upgrade; and hailed a $1.13 increase in the minimum wage, the result of legislation he signed for a $15 hourly wage by 2024.

“People here are sharp, but rightly skeptical,” Murphy said. “It’s a Jersey thing. Therefore, we should never insult their wisdom. We will always be honest and straightforward with them. They don’t want to see Washington-style degradation and chaos — and neither do we.

Murphy said he will return to the legislative chambers in seven weeks to present his budget for fiscal 2024. “Making New Jersey more affordable for our families and seniors will also be central to the plan which I will present to you,” he said.

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