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(1st LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblyman Matthew W. Milam on Monday welcomed news that legislation he sponsored will indeed lead to a payroll tax break for New Jersey workers, as he had hoped.
“This is outstanding news for New Jersey workers who have long deserved this tax break,” Milam said. “Working class New Jerseyans struggling to make ends meet need any help they can get. That’s why I sponsored this bill and pushed it into law and am so pleased to see New Jersey families will soon enjoy its benefits. Helping workers should always be our priority.”
The law (A-3792) gives the state authority to lower temporary disability benefit contribution rates by employees commencing in 2012, if the fund has enough money to meet its annual needs. The bill was approved 51-23-2 by the Assembly and 21-11 by the Senate earlier this year.
Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland) said his law is designed to provide tax relief by preventing excessive accumulations in the state disability benefits fund.
“The state shouldn’t be able to store away money that should be returned to the taxpayers,” Milam said. “Fortunately, we’ve put a stop to that and we’re now headed in the right direction, with tax relief, job creation and economic development being our priority.”
In past years, large surpluses in the fund have sometimes resulted in the diversion of significant amounts of monies from the fund to the general state budget.
Since 1994, $748 million was diverted from the fund. If, as has occurred during most years, total contributions paid into the fund substantially exceed total benefits paid out of the fund, the law will cause a reduction in tax rate for workers.
“This money belongs to New Jersey’s workers, and if the state has enough money to cover worker disability needs, then the excess money should be returned to the workers in the form of a tax break,” Milam said. “It’s the right thing to do. Tax relief like this can only help, especially in this difficult economy.”