With the State attempting to recover many of the jobs that were lost last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli, Daniel Benson and Gabriela Mosquera to establish a New Jobs for New Jersey tax credit program was advanced by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday.
The purpose of the program established by the legislation (A-1679) would be to incentivize small, private-sector businesses to hire unemployed individuals by making the employer eligible for a refundable tax credit. The credit(s) awarded per eligible employee would go towards the employer’s corporation business tax or gross income tax.
“Although New Jersey has made significant progress in gaining back many of the jobs we lost last year due to COVID-19, there are still hundreds of thousands of unemployed residents looking for work,” said Assemblyman Burzichelli (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem). “Encouraging small businesses to create new jobs is more important now than ever before as we begin to come out of this pandemic.”
More than 1.86 million New Jersey residents applied for unemployment benefits between March and December 2020 because of the many business closures and lay-offs caused by the ongoing public health emergency. Around 45 percent of the jobs lost in March and April 2020 have yet to be recovered, as of one year later.
“Last year, unemployment reached levels not seen since the Great Depression,” said Assemblyman Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “To fully recover from this crisis, we must get our economy back on track and help our residents in need of good-paying jobs across New Jersey.”
In order to be able to receive the tax credit, the person hired by an eligible business must be someone who did not previously work for the company and who did not have full-time employment for at least 30 days prior to being hired.
“So many families are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table right now,” said Assemblywoman Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester). “We cannot leave these families behind as our state begins to recover from the pandemic. We must help our community members get back to work to help them regain the stability and peace of mind this past year has taken away from them.”
The legislation now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.