Issue Position: Jobs and the Economy
Chris Christie is committed to get New Jersey working again by giving our state's current and future businesses a renewed competitive advantage - through deregulation and reduced tax rates - that will attract new businesses and new jobs to New Jersey.
COMMIT TO PLAY A HANDS-ON ROLE IN FOSTERING OUR STATE'S BUSINESS GROWTH
Chris Christie will be the pro-jobs Governor our state needs
Chris Christie will take a very personal role in overseeing the implementation of pro-growth economic development policies and projects. While New Jersey's private sector economy is being dismantled, our neighboring states have been extremely successful at luring private sector investment and jobs. Christie will be a successful marketer of New Jersey - being personally involved and committed to pro-growth business policies, like other successful governors.
Create the "New Jersey Partnership for Action"
The Christie Administration will consolidate Trenton's fragmented economic development activities into a new agency - "New Jersey Partnership for Action," utilizing the resources of the current Economic Development Authority.
"NJ Partnership for Action" will act as a one-stop shop for new businesses to make opening in or relocating to New Jersey easier for companies. This agency will walk new companies through the regulatory process and assist with tax incentives to make the process more efficient. By creating these public-private partnerships to implement economic growth strategies, New Jersey will more successfully foster private sector job growth.
There are two crucial elements, which is missing from New Jersey's current efforts, that will be implemented:
First is a true partnership and collaboration with the private sector. CEO's and business leaders will work hand-in-hand with the Christie administration to help attract their fellow CEO's and "sell" New Jersey to their business colleagues.
The second is trust in an effective system to help potential investors or prospective business owners obtain their lawful regulatory or other governmental approvals in a timely fashion. The partnership will ensure regulatory decisions in a reasonable time frame.
The Chair of the Partnership will be the Lieutenant Governor, restoring a voice for economic development in the Governor's cabinet. One of the Lieutenant Governor's principal responsibilities will be to lead this agency and create an effective infrastructure for economic growth. As part of the consolidation and effort to streamline, the Christie administration will make this process more efficient by eliminating the position of "Chief of the Office of Economic Growth." The important financing and lending responsibilities of the EDA will be augmented by the powerful new Partnership for Action via more aggressive marketing and promotion activities, and permit and regulatory decision expediting.
CUT TAXES & THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN NEW JERSEY
Reduce New Jersey's income tax
It will be a priority in the Christie administration to reduce New Jersey's gross income tax during Christie's first 4 year term as Governor. Christie will seek two types of income tax reductions: One will be an "across the board" rate cut for all taxpayers. The other will be an additional cut or credit for those taxpayers who derive business income from New Jersey-based small businesses. These taxes will be reduced to encourage investment in and expansion of New Jersey-based small business, and make our tax policies more competitive with the other states in the region that have better private sector job growth.
Reduce the corporate business tax rate to give New Jersey a competitive advantage
It will be a priority for the Christie administration to reduce corporate business tax rates. Reducing the corporate business tax rate, as part of an overall economic recovery effort, will create a better business climate to attract private sector investment.
Eliminate the "double-taxation" on New Jersey S-Corporations
80,000 S-Corporation taxpayers currently pay the corporation "minimum" tax, up to $2,000 per year, based on their total gross receipts. The Christie administration will eliminate the "double-taxation" on New Jersey's S-Corporations in line with the other 47 states and federal government which have implemented this policy.
Eliminate the hidden "investment tax" on New Jersey-based businesses
The "investment tax" acts as a "penalty" for businesses for being based in New Jersey. Instead of being taxed for only the amount of sales in New Jersey, the "investment tax" also factors in the level of investment (i.e., real estate, payroll, etc.) a company has in New Jersey. Chris Christie will change New Jersey tax policy to enact a "single-sales" factor for New Jersey-based companies to enable them to better compete.
Make New Jersey's health insurance more affordable for small businesses
Health insurance costs are a major expense for New Jersey businesses and consumers, and New Jersey current law does not allow the purchase of health insurance at the lowest available cost.
The rising cost of health insurance for New Jersey residents and businesses is outpacing inflation, making our state less attractive to employers who provide this benefit. As Governor, Christie will reduce the cost of health insurance for businesses, while making sure New Jersey's workers can remain insured:
The Christie administration will allow New Jersey small businesses to purchase health insurance policies from out-of-state insurance companies that offer better rates, or better coverage. More competition and more consumer choice will lower costs.
Insurance companies will be permitted to offer "mandate-free" policies. These policies might better fit the needs of some consumers who may not need extravagant benefits, such as young, single consumers. The Christie administration will abolish the assessment (i.e., tax,) on individual and small group premiums. National trade associations and membership organizations that have health plans will be allowed to market to their New Jersey members.
CUT EXCESSIVE RED TAPE AND PROVIDE RELIEF FROM OVERBEARING REGULATION
Create a permanent "Red Tape Review Group"
The Christie administration will overhaul New Jersey's regulations - restoring balance and fairness - by creating a permanent "Red Tape Review Group." The "Red Tape Review Group" will bring both elected branches of government together in a bi-partisan fashion to perform a top-to-bottom overhaul of New Jersey's Administrative Code.
Members of the "Red Tape Review Group" will include the Lieutenant Governor, CEO of New Jersey Partnership for Action, DEP Commissioner, Chief Counsel to the Governor, and the Chair and Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee.
The principles that will guide the regulatory review will be whether the rules have a sound scientific or other technical basis, whether they are consistent with other state policy goals, whether they are consistent with legislative intent, and whether they effectively protect and promote the public interest, including the urgent need for economic development and private-sector job creation. The Review Group will recommend rescinding rules that do not meet these requirements.
Implement an immediate freeze on proposed new agency rules and regulations
The Christie administration will put an immediate freeze on proposed new agency rules and regulations, except those deemed necessary for public emergency, until the Red Tape Review Group completes its review.
Where appropriate, rule-making scientific advisory committees will be established
The rule-making advisory committees will be established to evaluate the underlying science in DEP or other departmental rule proposals.
Strengthen rule impact statements
Current rule impact statements are inadequate and unsupported. Impact statements will be more detailed with supporting expert analysis that is widely accepted and Christie will require more meaningful and accurate cost/benefit analysis. Proposed rules will also contain a true "risk analysis" supported by actual data to ensure the proposal is serving an actual and critical public need.
Promote transparency in the process of creating new rules and policy
Proposed rules will not be adopted until all implementing policy procedures and documents (such as technical manuals and forms) are in place and are available for inspection and public comment and input. We will strictly limit agency policy and rule development that often occurs outside the public input guaranteed by the Administrative Procedures Act.
Eliminate agency funding from fees and fines
Christie will remove the incentive for regulatory agencies to charge excessive or unnecessary fees and fines by restoring their funding "on-budget" from the general fund. Agencies will no longer rely on fees and fines for their own funding, removing their built-in incentives to over-regulate and over-charge.
Propose meaningful and fair changes in our state's legal liability policies
The Christie administration will propose meaningful and fair changes to New Jersey's legal liability policies to make our state more affordable for consumers and businesses.
The ease with which lawsuits can be brought in New Jersey is encouraging attorneys from around the country to file lawsuits here. Consequently, New Jersey residents and businesses must often wait in line behind out-of-state plaintiffs. New Jersey's civil justice system discourages businesses from locating here and gives resident businesses a strong reason to re-locate to other states.
To end the abuse and manipulation of New Jersey's civil justice system, Christie proposes to:
· Make it more difficult for out-of-state plaintiffs to sue in New Jersey courts.
· Make it more difficult to file class action lawsuits for frivolous reasons.
· Prevent the admission of flimsy and dubious testimony offered by expert witnesses.
MAKE MANUFACTURING A PRIORITY
Nurture and expand New Jersey's existing manufacturing base
With New Jersey's superb location, transportation networks, and skilled workforce, manufacturing should be a key part of NJ's economy.
Manufacturing companies provide important jobs for our skilled workforce and for young and first-time job entrants. Through the Christie administration's support, the existing base will expand to create more jobs for New Jerseyans.
The Christie administration will recognize the importance of New Jersey's existing manufacturing base, including the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, which employ hundreds of thousands of our residents with good wages and benefits.
INCREASE EFFICENCY IN PUBLIC SECTOR INVESTMENT
Eliminate special interest labor union giveaways that increase spending and taxes
The requirement to use "project labor agreements" (PLAs) on many public construction projects substantially increases construction costs without delivering a single public benefit.
The Christie administration will end the use of PLAs which create inexcusable waste on public construction projects and are a tool for political favoritism at a time when the economy is shedding jobs and taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet.
In its reporting on New Jersey's failed School Construction Corporation, the Star-Ledger concluded that the cost of using PLAs was the equivalent to five additional Abbott district elementary schools.
Increase public project investment through better management.
The Christie administration will utilize innovative procurement methodologies like Design/Build/Operate/Maintain (DBOM). This will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the cost of transportation and construction projects, making more projects possible without increasing spending.
Methodologies like Design/Build/Operate/Maintain can also expedite projects, ensuring that we're putting New Jersey's workers back to work at a faster pace, even more important in these tough economic times.
New Jersey Transit was the first transit agency in the nation to use a public/private partnership to complete a major project - the Hudson Bergen Light Rail system. It was completed on-budget and on-time. The Christie administration will use these ideas aggressively, while ensuring the participation of New Jersey-based contractors and employees.