From NJ Spotlight:
Despite New Jersey’s solid year of job growth in 2016, a recent survey of the state’s certified public accountants suggests few of them believe economic conditions will improve much by next year.
The results of the survey, released yesterday by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, indicated just under 25 percent of those who responded to the organization’s member poll predicted economic conditions will get better by 2018.
Instead, the overwhelming majority of the accountants who responded said they believe that conditions here will either stay the same or get worse, the survey found.
While New Jersey hasn’t had any setbacks to annual job growth since the recession officially ended in 2009, the state has been adding about 45,000 jobs each year, a pace that has lagged both the national recovery and the rate of growth experienced during the 1990s as New Jersey rebounded from a prior recession, according to figures tracked by Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. But last year, the state added more than 60,000 private-sector jobs, its best showing since the recession ended.
In addition to the economic-outlook question, the accountants were also asked in the survey to list their top three recommendations for creating economic growth in New Jersey. Nearly 80 percent listed reducing property taxes among their top three. High property taxes have long been a key concern in New Jersey, and the latest data from the state Department of Community Affairs indicates the average property tax bill increased by nearly $200 in 2016 to $8,549.
Other top recommendations for stimulating growth in New Jersey revealed in the CPA survey were cutting income taxes and providing additional tax incentives to businesses.
Thomas said he’s now hoping that legislators, candidates and the general public will take a close look at the results of the survey, and give serious consideration to the issues raised by it as upcoming policy decisions are made in Trenton.
And while the group has no plans to take political positions or endorse any candidate, it is urging policymakers to adopt a long-term view as they take on the state’s biggest problems instead of enacting just short-term Band-Aids.