Progressives support tax deal but businesses cry foul

Reaction has been swift to agreement announced by top Democrats, notably on proposed millionaires tax

The millionaires tax has been a hot-button issue in the state and there was plenty of reaction to the agreement. The deal won praise from the state Communications Workers of America Union and New Jersey Policy Perspective, which said having the wealthy help contribute to the state’s economic recovery is the right thing to do.

But business groups objected to the agreement. They’ve been urging the state to cut expenses, rather than raise taxes and borrow billions. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association said residents will be paying off debt from state borrowing for years. The group called the so-called middle-class tax relief a gimmick.

As for the millionaires tax, business leaders say it will hurt business owners that are already reeling from the economic fallout from COVID-19. The state Chamber of Commerce said the administration “needs to realize that the business community is not a bottomless ATM machine.”

The state’s unemployment rate fell in August to 10.9% as New Jersey has now regained about 49% of the jobs lost since April. And the number of state residents filing new unemployment claims continues to drop. In the latest week, fewer than 20,000 residents filed initial jobless claims. That’s the lowest number of new applicants in five weeks.