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By a vote of 47-28-2, the General Assembly on Thursday granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assemblymen John Burzichelli, Troy Singleton, Wayne DeAngelo, Daniel Benson, Albert Coutinho and Ruben Ramos, Jr. to provide incentives for small businesses to hire unemployed residents.
The bill, which now heads to the Governor's desk, is part of a comprehensive job creation effort recently laid out by Assembly Democrats.
"This is a two-fold approach to help jumpstart our economy," said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). "It will boost opportunities for those desperately in need of a job while also helping small businesses hire much-needed employees."
The "New Jobs for New Jersey Act" (A-3312/S-2211) establishes a New Jobs for New Jersey tax credit program to provide incentives to small private sector employers who increase their workforce by hiring unemployed workers.
"This is about getting people back on their feet and gainfully employed in a stable job environment," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "It's also a great way to help small businesses cover the cost for hiring additional employees that they might not otherwise be able to afford."
The bill makes an employer of 100 or fewer full-time employees eligible for a refundable tax credit against the corporation business tax or the gross income tax, whichever applies to the employer, for each eligible individual employed on a full-time basis during a tax year, if the following requirements are met:
· The eligible individual is hired by the employer after October 1, 2012, is employed full-time during the tax year for which the tax credit is provided, was not previously employed by the employer, and did not have full-time employment for 30 or more days prior to being hired by the employer;
· The employer employs more employees than the average during the during the 12-month period immediately prior to October 1, 2012; and
· The commissioner of the state Department of Labor approves an application submitted by the employer for the tax credit.
"Small businesses are the back bone of our economy," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "When they thrive, so does New Jersey. This bill speaks to that underlying principle while targeting those who need help the most - the long-term unemployed."
"This is a sound approach to job stimulation because it does not require an upfront expense on the part of the state and only provides a tax credit once an employer produces results," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "In the end, this is a much needed win for job-seekers."
"With unemployment still hovering near 10 percent, this initiative is crucial to getting out-of-work residents back on their feet," said Coutinho (D-Essex). "It will also help small businesses grow and expand when they might not otherwise be able to afford to do so."
The bill sets the amount of the refundable tax credit for each eligible individual employed during a tax year as the total amount of the employer payroll taxes paid during that tax year by the employer with respect to that individual. Employer payroll taxes include the portion paid by employers of State unemployment, temporary disability, and workforce development and basic skills assessments, and federal Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.
"Small businesses employ a majority of our workers, but when the recession all but froze up credit, it made it hard for them to expand their operations," said Ramos. "This will help offset some of the costs for them to hire additional personnel while providing a stable job for residents in dire need of work."
An employer may apply for and qualify for a tax credit under the bill with respect to tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015. If the employer's application is approved for any of those three years, the employer may continue to receive the tax credit for any of the four tax years following that tax year during which the employer meets the requirements of the bill.
NJ Assembly Majority Office
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