(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex), chairman of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, issued the following statement Thursday after Republican Budget Committee members showcased a lack of knowledge on how their bills to hike business taxes would hurt the state’s economy.

“It’s disturbing that the first thing that the Republicans do when they have an opportunity to make a change is add additional business taxes by increasing fees while cutting business incentive programs for the biotech and film and digital media industries that help spur our economy and create jobs.

“As if that wasn’t bad enough, Republicans don’t seem to know a thing about the bills they’re sponsoring. When asked about the impact of higher business taxes and how many businesses would be hurt, one of my Republican colleagues simply told the committee, ‘I have no clue.’

“That Republicans would advance such tax-hiking legislation without understanding the impact it will have on New Jersey’s struggling business climate and still fragile economy is as shocking as it is irresponsible.

“Even more disturbing, though, is that this Republican legislation will cause serious harm to businesses across our state, halting economic growth and job creation just when we need it most.”

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