Economic Opportunity for All

Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Economic Opportunity for All

The Garden State Initiative works to advocate for economic policies that serve all New Jerseyans by expanding equal opportunity to all corners of our state. We believe that all of our residents benefit from policies that grow our economy and spur investment and job creation in our diverse communities.

STAY IN THE LOOP WITH NEW JERSEY Economic Opportunity for All

3.9%

Unemployment Rate

Against 3.6% United States average.

62.8%

Labor Participation Rate

Against 62.3% United States average.

4.1%

Personal Income Growth

Against 4.8% United States average (36th).

$85,239

Median Income

Against $67,521 US average (5th highest).

FEATURED POST

Regina Egea Budget Testimony: Taxpayers are Speaking Clearly on Affordability, Taxes

On Tuesday, March 28th, GSI’s president, Regina M. Egea, offered the following testimony before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee: Good Afternoon Chairman Sarlo and Committee Members. Unlike many others appearing before the legislature, I do not represent any special interest seeking additional spending. In fact, I come before you to request you spend less, not more. My testimony is…

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THE LATEST WORK ON Economic Opportunity for All

EVENT

2022 WILLIAM E. SIMON ECONOMIC POLICY FORUM

Join us for the Annual William E. Simon Economic Policy Forum to discuss Job Creation, Energy Outlook and New Jersey…

PRESS RELEASE

Regina Egea Budget Testimony: Taxpayers are Speaking Clearly on Affordability, Taxes

On Tuesday, March 28th, GSI’s president, Regina M. Egea, offered the following testimony before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee:…

PODCAST

PODCAST: NJ’s Budget – The Inside Story You Need to Know

In this month’s edition of The GSI Briefing, Regina Egea is joined by former State Senator Diane Allen (R) &…

IN THE NEWS

Real Clear Policy: 2022 Midterm Lessons from Jersey: It’s About The Economy. And Listening to Voters.

By Regina M. EgeaWhile the media dissect Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory in the Virginia governor’s race, more insights may be…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Talks NJ’s Economy & Fiscal Health on “Jersey Matters with Larry Mendte”

GSI’s president Regina Egea appeared on the October 2nd edition of Jersey Matters with Larry Mendte to discuss the details…

PRESS RELEASE

Fiscal Sustainability Press Conference

Virtual Press Conference - Toward a Fiscally Sustainable New Jersey: Analysis and Recommendations On September 22, 2021, former New Jersey…

PODCAST

PODCAST: Toward a Fiscally Responsible New Jersey

In this episode of The GSI Briefing, GSI’s president Regina Egea was joined by Tom Healey and Thad Calabrese to…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Talks FY 2022 Budget on New Jersey Now

GSI’s president Regina Egea appeared June 27th on My9’s New Jersey Now with Dianne Doctor, Vice President and Station Manager,…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: Government spending has increased 35% in 4 years. Has your income?

By Regina M. EgeaAll the talk about inflation lately — whether it’s going to be “transitory” or “persistent” — got…

PODCAST

GSI Briefing: A Conversation with Author and Commentator Jason Riley

On June 17th, GSI hosted our latest GSI Briefing virtual forum featuring a conversation with Jason Riley, a senior fellow…

EVENT

GSI/TapInto: Glen Rock and the Economy – Will We Be Able to Retire in Our Town?

Glen Rock and the Economy – Will We Be Able to Retire in Our Town? PRESENTED BY THE GARDEN STATE…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Talks 2021 New Jersey Economic Issues with Joe Piscopo

Wednesday morning GSI’s president Regina Egea appeared on AM970’s “The Joe Piscopo Show” to discuss the upcoming campaign for Governor…

PODCAST

GSI Briefing: A Conversation with Jason Riley (June 17th)

VIA ZOOM: THURSDAY, JUNE 17TH - 3:00-4:00 PM Click to read more about Mr. Riley’s biography of Thomas Sowell The…

IN THE NEWS

‘Something’s out of whack’ – GSI’s Egea Talks NJ Finances on The Bond Buyer Podcast

'Something's out of whack' - that describes New Jersey’s finances in summary . For more detail, Regina Egea, president of…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Funding to cover a McGreevey-era debt takes a hit. How state plans to cover the shortfall

By John ReitmeyerNew Jersey must come up with new funding out of the state budget to keep from defaulting on…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Our self-inflicted fiscal crisis opens the door to statewide property tax

The following op-ed was published by NJ Spotlight News on April 27 and also on Real Clear Policy, part of…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey government carrying massive debt, with few options for paying it off, observers say

By Kim Jarrett(The Center Square) – New Jersey is a state swimming in cash, but is still facing struggles as…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey firms would pay a combined corporate tax rate of 36.3% under Biden plan, highest in U.S.

The combined state and federal corporate tax rate in New Jersey would reach 36.3 percent under President Biden’s infrastructure plan,…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: NJ’s big borrowing deal comes under fire

By John ReitmeyerDuring testimony before lawmakers Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy’s treasurer repeatedly defended a decision to issue nearly $4 billion…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Will Gov. Murphy honor his pledge to pay back billions he borrowed now that N.J. is flush with cash?

By Samantha MarcusGov. Phil Murphy’s multi-billion dollar borrowing pitch always came with a disclaimer.If New Jersey somehow, someway borrowed more money…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: NJ fiscal picture $430M better, analysts say

By John ReitmeyerDespite the ongoing pandemic, New Jersey will close out its fiscal year in a few months with even…

IN THE NEWS

Sales Tax Holiday

GSI’s Regina Egea Appears on My9’s New Jersey Now to Discuss Sales Tax Holiday for Leisure & Hospitality Industries How…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: Murphy’s New Jersey budget prompts second-guessing

By Paul BurtonNew Jersey’s proposed budget features an odd mix of dynamics that include a pandemic, an election year, massive…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: N.J. now in lose-lose position with stock exchanges

By Regina M. EgeaIn New Jersey, we’ve become accustomed to losing. We’re at or near the bottom of every list…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Appears on Business Beat to discuss NJ’s economic recovery

GSI’s president Regina Egea appeared on NJ Spotlight News’ Business Beat with Rhonda Schaffler to discuss ideas to get New…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: With top court’s help, Murphy borrows billions, plans spending spree

Last year, the Murphy administration made an exaggerated estimate of how much revenue New Jersey government would lose due to…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: GSI panel: Legacy issues hurt N.J.’s ability to compete moving forward

By Tom BergeronAssemblyman John Burzichelli summed it up in a way that left everyone nodding their head in agreement.“You would…

PODCAST

GSI Briefing: New Jersey’s Business Climate in 2021 – What will it take for NJ to win?

The business climate in New Jersey is undeniably challenging. Behind the dour headlines and low rankings, there are opportunities –…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI’s Egea: “Make No Mistake New Jersey, Your Taxes Just Went Up”

Garden State Initiative’s president, Regina M. Egea, issued the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s Budget Address: “Incorporating billions in…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: N.J. budget could be surprisingly flush with cash. What will Murphy do with all that money?

By Samantha MarcusBudget season in New Jersey typically conjures two unpopular questions.Which taxes are going up?And by how much?But this…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Pandemic tax windfall for NJ: Receipts from house sales and liquor boost state revenues

By John ReitmeyerAt first the coronavirus pandemic slowed New Jersey’s real estate market, but a huge rebound followed, even as…

IN THE NEWS

NJ101.5: Average NJ property tax bill now $9,111 – How your town compares

By Michael SymonsTRENTON — Property taxes went up by $158 for the average New Jersey homeowner last year, according to…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Murphy’s dire predictions on how coronavirus would wreck N.J. finances far from what’s actually happened so far

By Samantha MarcusThe dire warnings began when New Jersey was most vulnerable.Starting in March and continuing over the turbulent weeks that…

IN THE NEWS

Bloomberg: Goldman Plots Florida Base for Asset Management in a Blow to New York

By Sridhar NatarajanGoldman Sachs Group Inc. is weighing plans for a new Florida hub to house one of its key divisions,…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Consolidate municipal courts to start seriously cutting property taxes

Great news for suffering taxpayers. A strong proposal to combine all the municipal courts in Atlantic County into one system…

IN THE NEWS

NY Post: This ‘soak the rich’ tax would destroy economies of New York and New Jersey

By the New York Post Editorial BoardLawmakers in New York and New Jersey just won’t be happy until they drive Wall…

PODCAST

GSI Briefing: A Conversation with Attorneys General John Degnan and Chris Porrino

On November 17th, GSI hosted our latest GSI Briefing virtual forum featuring former New Jersey Attorneys General John Degnan and…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI’s Egea Discusses National Voting Trends on Economic Issues at Eagleton Forum

What could election results in California, Arizona, Colorado & Illinois mean for 2021 statewide elections in New Jersey? Voters in…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: In major hit to NJ’s credit rating, Wall Street agency lowers state’s bond grade

By John ReitmeyerNew Jersey’s credit rating has taken a significant hit from a major Wall Street rating agency as the…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Income tax hike a missed chance for NJ fiscal responsibility

The Legislature has finally given Gov. Phil Murphy the so-called millionaire’s tax he’s sought his whole time in office.Twice before,…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey gets a failing grade, ranks last in financial study of states’ fiscal health

By Dave Fidlin(The Center Square) – New Jersey’s pre-pandemic balance sheet was described as being in “dire fiscal health” in…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: ‘Most of this was stimulus’: Promising economic data for New Jersey linked to federal checks

By Kim Jarrett(The Center Square) – Amid months of dismal economic news, New Jersey has received what appears to be…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: Keep it simple, New Jersey: Make budget serve residents

By Regina M. Egea and Lawrence J. Mone Sometimes, the simpler a problem is made, the clearer the solution becomes.…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: Keep it simple, New Jersey: Make budget serve residents

By Regina M. Egea and Lawrence J. Mone Sometimes, the simpler a problem is made, the clearer the solution becomes.…

IN THE NEWS

Wall Street Journal: New Jersey Does It Again

By The Wall Street Journal Editorial BoardConnecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s yacht is coming in. New York City’s descent into disorder…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: Rise in New Jersey gas tax could deter out-of-state consumption, analysts say

By Andrew CoenA trend toward lower fuel consumption, driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, prompted New Jersey to raise…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI’s Egea: Legislators Will Have to Explain Support for More Borrowing, Spending & Taxes

“New Jersey deserves leadership that aspires to living within the reality of today while delivering a plan for a better…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey tax receipts numbers leads critics to question whether Gov. Murphy needs $10 billion borrowing authority

By Kim Jarrett(The Center Square) – New Jersey’s tax revenues are down just 0.6 percent over the past 13 months when…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI’s Egea: Collaboration and Tough Choices Now Will Determine New Jersey’s Future Economic Health

GSI’s president, Regina M. Egea, issued the following statement on the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in the…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Why Gov. Murphy Should Rule Out an Increase in Gas Tax and Even Go Further

By Regina M. EgeaYou can’t blame New Jersey residents for being a little jaded, especially when it comes to taxes,…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: The win-win for New Jersey and the federal government

By Regina M. EgeaAs Congress considers a sequel to the CARES Act economic stimulus bill, the pleas for budgetary relief…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: The win-win for New Jersey and the federal government

By Regina EgeaAs Congress considers a sequel to the CARES Act economic stimulus bill, the pleas for budgetary relief from…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Borrowing $10B is unconstitutional and hopefully the court will say so

By Thomas J. Healey and Jay WebberGov. Phil Murphy signed a law last week authorizing the State of New Jersey…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Cut NJ spending, get public approval before massive borrowing, new tax

Democrats in the state Legislature approved and Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law they believe lets them borrow $10 billion…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: New Jersey bill would let municipalities borrow to ease coronavirus revenue woes

By Andrew CoenA municipal bonding bill approved by New Jersey lawmakers Thursday that would enable local governments to borrow to…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: N.J. may allow your town and county to borrow to avoid public worker layoffs and cuts to services

By Samantha MarcusGov. Phil Murphy signed a bill earlier this month authorizing the state to borrow as much as $9.9 billion to offset revenue…

IN THE NEWS

NJTV News: Suspend the Gas Tax until New Jersey Delivers Promised Infrastructure Improvements

GSI’s president Regina Egea appeared with business correspondent Rhonda Schaffler on NJTV News to discuss our recent analysis that found…

IN THE NEWS

City Journal: New Jersey’s Borrowing Addiction

By Steven MalangaIn 2004, with New Jersey facing a revenue shortfall, then-governor Jim McGreevey’s administration borrowed—in defiance of the state’s…

IN THE NEWS

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

By Kim Jarrett(The Center Square) – Republicans and Democrats agree that New Jersey is facing some difficult financial decisions because of…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey’s GDP took big hit in first quarter, but not as bad as some neighbors

By Ben Kahn(The Center Square) – Data made public recently by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that staggering despite…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: Senate Democrats, Gov. Murphy agree to deal to borrow billions to plug budget hole; Republicans blast plan

(The Center Square) – The New Jersey Senate Budget Committee will vote Tuesday on a proposal that will allow Gov.…

IN THE NEWS

Bloomberg: Governor Says New Jersey Will Need ‘Revenue Raisers’ to Balance Budget

By Elise Young and David WestinNew Jersey Governor Phil Murphy hinted at tax increases for next fiscal year, saying the…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: New Jersey lawmakers put off decisions with stopgap budget

By Andrew CoenNew Jersey bought some time with its three-month stopgap budget, deferring significant expenses that push off challenging decisions…

IN THE NEWS

City Journal: Fixing New Jersey’s Covid-19 Shortfall

New Jersey has an opportunity to turn a looming budget crisis into a necessary rehabilitation of its fiscal house—especially its…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Gov. Murphy didn’t heed fiscal warnings, now wolf is at New Jersey’s door

New Jersey state government had overtaxed and overspent itself into a deep hole before Gov. Phil Murphy took office at…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Explainer: Checking the Math Behind Murphy’s $10B Budget-Shortfall Estimate

By John ReitmeyerIt’s an attention-grabbing number: $10 billion. That’s how much Gov. Phil Murphy says the state is short due…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Borrowing is not the solution to New Jersey’s $10 billion problem

By Regina Egea and Thomas J. HealeyNew Jersey is on the brink of a budgetary crisis that rivals the healthcare…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: New Jersey Borrowing Bill Faces Senate Obstavles After Assembly Approval

by Andrew CoenA New Jersey proposal seeking authority to issue billions of general obligation bonds without voter approval easily cleared…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Murphy, Lawmakers Have Only Weeks to Make Hard Budget Choices

By John ReitmeyerGov. Phil Murphy’s administration has laid out a series of spending cuts, deferrals and other budget adjustments to…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: Poll: N.J. voters want state to close deficit through benefits reform, not taxes

By Emily BaderThe effects of COVID-19 have resulted in a financial deficit for New Jersey.To close it, residents are urging…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey residents may get property tax deadline extension, but not lower taxes

By Sarah Downey(The Center Square) – With unemployment rising and businesses in New Jersey still closed, an executive order that lets…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Opinion – The COVID-19 Crisis’ Impact on NJ’s Finances — Questions for the Governor

By Andrew Sidamon-EristoffDear Gov. Murphy:Now is not the time for partisan politics. As our elected leader during an unprecedented time…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: Coronavirus brings New Jersey finances into danger zone

By Andrew CoenNew Jersey's financial future, already fragile before the COVID-19 pandemic, is now at a potential breaking point.The state…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: NJ Needs New Economic Priorities in the wake of COVID-19

The following op-ed appeared in the print edition of the Asbury Park Press on April 26th and online at APP.com.by…

IN THE NEWS

‘This is the opportunity to fix some of the inherent flaws the state has’ – GSI’s Egea in ROI-NJ

by Tom Bergeron Gov. Phil Murphy makes an almost daily plea for direct state aid — otherwise known as a…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: ‘This is the opportunity to fix some of the inherent flaws the state has’

by Tom Bergeron Gov. Phil Murphy makes an almost daily plea for direct state aid — otherwise known as a…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: New Jersey governor willing to accept Fed’s offer to buy municipal debt

by Andrew CoenNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy wants to take advantage of the Fed's new powers to purchase municipal debt.With…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: New Jersey poised for dramatic increase in gas tax tied to decreased gas prices, empty roads

by Joe Chen(The Center Square) – A recent Garden State Initiative analysis suggests that the lower gas prices and empty…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Murphy to Sign Bill for July 15 Tax Filing, Moody’s Downgrades NJ’s Rating Outlook

by John ReitmeyerGov. Phil Murphy is planning to sign into law today legislation that will officially delay New Jersey’s income-tax…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Regina Egea Talks Tolls & Gas Tax With Joe Piscopo on AM970

THIS MORNING GSI’S PRESIDENT REGINA EGEA APPEARED ON AM970’S “THE JOE PISCOPO SHOW” TO DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITY OF HIGHER GAS…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: Federal support, ‘hospitable business environment’ seen as key to fixing New Jersey’s budget after coronavirus wanes

by Joe Chen(The Center Square) – The coronavirus outbreak is forcing New Jersey leaders to respond to new fiscal challenges, such…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Murphy proposes to tax and spend like there’s no tomorrow

Gov. Phil Murphy raised taxes dramatically in his first two years in office and, with help from a Legislature controlled…

IN THE NEWS

NorthJersey.com: How does New Jersey’s ‘value proposition’ stack up?

by Regina M. EgeaWith every consumer purchase, we ask ourselves “Considering everything, am I getting a better value compared to…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: Murphy’s budget rhetoric didn’t match reality

By Regina M. Egea The positive energy Governor Murphy exuded as he began his FY2021 Budget Address gave the impression…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI’s Egea: With Governor’s Promises of Relief, Why Aren’t We Seeing Any Tax Reductions?

Garden State Initiative’s president, Regina M. Egea, issued the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s Budget Address: Last November, the…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: With or without Murphy, Legislature must fix NJ finances

The pain of New Jersey’s unsustainable finances is being relieved temporarily by the robust U.S. economy. That has helped residents…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: As State Coffers Swell, Murphy Administration Releases Frozen Funds

by John ReitmeyerState tax collections increased by more than 7% during the first half of the fiscal year, a surge…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI’s Egea on State of the State: Governor’s Approach to Property Taxes “Treating a broken leg with aspirin”

Garden State Initiative (GSI) president Regina M. Egea issued the following statement in response to Governor Phil Murphy’s State of…

IN THE NEWS

NJSpotlight: 2020 Brings New Year, New Budget Planning — and Familiar Fiscal-Policy Issues

by John ReitmeyerWhen it comes to the state budget, the new year is starting off with some unresolved fiscal-policy questions…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Candidates beware: Property taxes are pushing Dems, Republicans and even independents to leave New Jersey

By Regina M. Egea It was well reported during 2017’s gubernatorial campaign that then-candidate Phil Murphy recounted a conversation with…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Murphy and Sweeney Continue to Spar Over Cut in Sales Tax

by John ReitmeyerNearly two years after New Jersey’s sales-tax was dropped to 6.625%, the tax cut remains a subject of…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: NJ state bank: A solution in search of a problem?

by Regina M. EgeaWhen Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 91 last week, initiating the implementation of a state bank, many New…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: High NJ tax incentives are a symptom of bad state governance

Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign to reform New Jersey’s tax incentives for businesses, after almost two years, seems to have reached…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Gov. Murphy belittles and dismisses people concerned about taxes

Gov. Phil Murphy started the month speaking a little too frankly for a politician about his views on taxes, spending…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Low Budget Reserves Make NJ Vulnerable if Economic Headwinds Kick Up

New Jersey and many other states have been able to boost budget reserves during the long recovery from the Great…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Mulshine – Restore state and local tax breaks for Jersey? That’s rich, says a federal judge

As F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “The rich are different from you and me.”Ernest Hemingway supposedly retorted that the difference…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Discusses NJ’s Economy on “State of Affairs with Steve Adubato”

Garden State Initiative’s president Regina M. Egea was interviewed on State of Affairs with Steve Adubato. In a wide-ranging interview…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: By being fairer, has New Jersey’s economy grown stronger?

By Tom ByrneIn a recent op-ed, Gov. Phil Murphy stated that “New Jersey is getting stronger” but cited no data in support…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: “Insiders” Discuss Egea’s take on the Murphy Economy

Q. In a Star-Ledger op-ed, Gov. Phil Murphy claimed victory in his fight to make New Jersey’s economy “fairer and…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Appears on News 12 Power & Politics to Discuss State Economy

Garden State Initiative’s president Regina M. Egea appeared on this weekend’s edition of News 12 New Jersey’s Power & Politics…