New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Murphy’s Tax Increases Blew NJ’s Shot for Amazon’s HQ2

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said massive tax increases imposed by Governor Phil Murphy and legislative Democrats this year have likely blown New Jersey’s shot at luring Amazon’s new headquarters and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

Sen. Tom Kean said massive tax increases imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrats this year have likely blown New Jersey’s shot at luring Amazon’s new headquarters and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. (SenateNJ.com)

“New Jersey was well on the path to creating the stable, predictable tax environment that employers like Amazon require until Governor Murphy’s budget reversed nearly a decade of fiscal discipline,” said Kean. “The massive multi-billion dollar business tax increase signed by Governor Murphy in July was the nail in the coffin for Newark’s proposal to host HQ2.”

Amazon was expected to invest $5 billion in their new second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2,” where they would create an estimated 50,000 jobs with average salaries over $100,000.

Published reports indicate that Amazon may split HQ2 into two locations, with plans being finalized with Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City in Virginia.

A bipartisan legislative effort to offer incentives for transformative projects like HQ2 was signed into law on January 11. Amazon named Newark as one of 20 finalists from 238 proposals a week later.

In July, Governor Murphy signed a budget including $1.5 billion in tax increases, including a multi-year surcharge on businesses and an income tax increase.

Those tax increases cemented the Garden State’s last-place ranking in the Tax Foundation’s newly released 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index.

According to the Tax Foundation, New Jersey dropped from 42nd to 47th place in state rankings of corporate taxes since last year, and from 48th to 50th in individual income taxes.

“New Jersey has many positives to offer, including a highly-educated and talented workforce, a history of innovation, and an amazing location,” added Kean. “It’s sad to see Governor Murphy steamroll all of that with a misguided notion of tax fairness that is demonstrably making New Jersey weaker and less competitive.”

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