Assemblywoman decries Murphy for new $250 million tax on businesses

Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield calling on Governor Murphy to replenish New Jersey's unemployment fund with federal relief money.

Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield chastised Governor Phil Murphy for his late-Friday announcement of a new $250 million tax on the business community to replenish the state’s unemployment funds.

“No one has been impacted more financially by the pandemic than New Jersey’s Main Street businesses. They were forced by the government to close and put their workers on unemployment. Now they’re the ones being forced to pay the bill,” Stanfield said. 

“It is unfair and amoral that they are being asked to shoulder the tax burden that Governor Murphy created with his lockdown policies, especially when there is such a clear solution,” Stanfield continued. “We received billions of dollars in pandemic relief provided by the federal government. Use it!”

Governor Murphy’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Friday posted a notice to employers warning of changes in their contribution rates for unemployment that are expected to kick in on October 1 and cost them a quarter of a billion dollars. 

An employer’s contribution to unemployment depends on how many of their employees claimed benefits and what the state of the overall fund balance is. Due to the massive amount of benefits paid out during the pandemic, the fund needs to be replenished, but Stanfield railed against Governor Murphy’s decision not to use federal relief money while other state’s have. 

“There’s a lifeline sitting right in front of the Governor, and he’s failing to use it. Instead, he’s content with letting these businesses drown,” Stanfield said.