(Courtesy of NJJBA) NJJBA members kicked off a day filled with advocacy by meeting with Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Speaking about the high taxes in the state, the senator said “We can’t tax our way out of this crisis, nor should we. New Jerseyans already pay some of the highest taxes in the country. We need to make our state more affordable—not less affordable—for our hard-working middle-class families, for new college graduates and millennials deciding where they are going to live, and for senior citizens trying to decide whether they can afford to stay.”
Next up, the alliance representatives headed to the State House Annex Building for lunch with members of the legislature. A frank conversation centered on challenges facing New Jersey’s businesses. Among those legislators who joined were Assemblyman Robert Auth, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese, Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
The day culminated with a substantive meeting at the governor’s office between NJJBA members and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor Deborah Cornavaca. A wide array of topics was discussed. Among them, minimum wage, taxes, opportunity zones and incentives for growing businesses.
Ted Zangari, chair of the real estate department at Sills Cummis & Gross, summarized their successful day. He stated, “Today’s event confirmed for our members that politics is not a spectator sport. When it comes to policymaking, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu. Today, NJJBA was literally at the table in Trenton.”
“Meeting with such high-ranking people in the state government gave us a unique opportunity to talk to them about our business’ concerns,” said Eric Margules, president and CEO at Margules Properties.