NJBIA has begun sounding the alarm on New Jersey’s finances. When the state’s budget process kicks off in a month, the governor and lawmakers will need to confront what is in fact a fiscal crisis in New Jersey, but few officials are talking about it.
To hopefully get the debate going, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka laid out New Jersey’s fiscal problems in an op-ed that ran recently in the Asbury Park Press.
“New Jersey has the highest taxes and the worst business climate in the nation. We are in a fiscal crisis, with unfunded liabilities for public worker pensions and retiree health benefits escalating with no ceiling in sight,” she wrote.
“Unfortunately, concerned New Jersey residents did not hear how Gov. Murphy plans to approach these harsh realities during last week’s State of the State address.”
Specifically, she urged policymakers to consider that:
• According to the PEW Charitable Trusts, New Jersey revenues have fallen short for the past 15 years, amassing the worst deficit in the nation.
• New Jersey’s combined net pension liability and post-employment benefits obligation is currently $151.6 billion — four times the amount of the State’s annual budget.
• To remedy these obligations, every New Jerseyan would need to write the State a check for $17,018.22.
• If nothing is done to address it, the obligation will increase by $1 billion a year.