Jersey City Payroll Tax Advances

The Jersey City Council introduced the payroll tax ordinance by a 7-0-1 vote. Wednesday's 90-minute hearing was the first time the council heard from the public on the proposed payroll tax, which would amount to one percent on any business's total non-resident payroll. The wages of Jersey City residents would be exempt. The council is expected to hold a final vote on the plan by the end of the year. All the money would be set aside for schools.

While parents urged council members to support the tax saying the expected revenue is needed to stave off major budget cuts at the public school district, union workers and business owners voiced their opposition with business owners telling the council the payroll tax will devastate the business community.

A form of state aid that brought the district about $170 million this year is being taken away in chunks starting in July.

Special state legislation (A4163, now P.L.2018, Chapter 68) was enacted in July to enable Jersey City to impose an employer payroll tax of up to one percent. Newark is the only other New Jersey municipality authorized to impose an employer payroll tax.