New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Republicans Have Been Only Consistent Voice in Legislature for Lowering New Jersey Taxes

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Says Waxing and Waning by Democrats on Billions in Taxes Is Driving Families & Employers from New Jersey

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said he wasn’t surprised that Senate President Stephen Sweeney is now backing off a massive business tax increase that he had proposed just weeks ago.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said the Senate President’s “haphazard approach” to tax policy is driving families and employers from New Jersey. (

“The only thing that’s consistent about the Senate President’s approach to addressing New Jersey’s high tax burden is his inconsistency,” said Kean. “He pushed for raising income taxes for years, which we forcefully opposed, but suddenly changed his mind. He recently proposed hitting employers with the highest business taxes in the country, which we also opposed, and again he changed his mind just as abruptly. This constant uncertainty in future costs serves to drive families and employers from New Jersey, even if the harmful taxes are never actually implemented. New Jerseyans need more consistency from their leaders.”

The Senate President attempted multiple times during the previous administration to pass an income tax increase, only to be blocked by Republicans each time. Governor Murphy now estimates this proposal would cost taxpayers $765 million if implemented for the upcoming fiscal year.

Senate President Sweeney recently changed course by proposing to make New Jersey’s business tax rate the highest in the nation, adding an additional $657 million burden on the state’s employers.

“This vacillating by the Senate President on $1.4 billion in proposed tax increases sends a chill down the spine of every family and business that’s doing a budget,” said Kean. “I’ve repeatedly said that New Jersey needs a consistent policy of reducing taxes if we are to compete for transformative projects like Amazon’s HQ2 that could bring tens of thousands of high paying jobs to New Jersey. The Senate President’s haphazard approach is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.”

Kean also noted that the Senate President recently commented that he may need Senate Republican support to pass other affordability reforms that he does not have the support of his own Senate Democratic caucus to pass.

“Senate Republicans have always led the effort to make New Jersey more affordable, even when the Senate President and his Democratic caucus stood in the way,” added Kean. “How many times have Democrats actively blocked our Republican efforts to bring sick leave and health benefits reforms up for Senate votes? Too many times to count. So let’s be clear about one thing. If the Senate President has suddenly had a change of heart about working to help rather than hurt New Jersey taxpayers, he’ll be joining our years-long effort, not the other way around.”

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