Center Square NJ: New Jersey Democrat proposes tax on stock trades to bolster New Jersey's ailing budget - Garden State Initiative

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Center Square NJ: New Jersey Democrat proposes tax on stock trades to bolster New Jersey’s ailing budget

July 15, 2020

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By Kim Jarrett

(The Center Square) – Republicans and Democrats agree that New Jersey is facing some difficult financial decisions because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

What they disagree, however, is how to solve them.

The New Jersey Senate is expected to approve a plan that allows Gov. Phil Murphy to borrow up to $10 billion from the federal government to cover the state’s declining revenues. But Republicans say the state should first look at cuts or at least put the plan before the voters.

One Democrat is proposing another solution. Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Essex, is proposing a micro-cent tax on all stock trades. The idea was first proposed by another Democrat, the late David Applefield, who ran for New Jersey’s fourth district Congressional seat. Applefield died July 8, the day after the primary election. McKeon introduced the bill the next day.

The idea is not a new one, said Regina Egea, president of the Garden State Initiative, an independent research and educational organization.

“The ‘micro cent’ tax has been proposed several times in the past and there’s a very simple reason why it has never been adopted – technology,” Egea said. “Most stock trades are conducted online, instead of on a trading floor, and it would be very easy for companies to simply relocate their servers a few miles into New York or Pennsylvania, to avoid this tax.”

And the last thing New Jersey needs is to lose more jobs in the financial sector, according to Egea. The state led the nation in job losses from that sector from 2018-19, she said.

Read the full report here.