As you know I've been spending a lot of time in Monmouth and Ocean counties lately, spreading the common sense mission to support our vast small business community. As my wife Jodi and I make our way around the state, we've been really fortunate to meet some outstanding people who are working tirelessly to build a business against the odds in the Garden State.
High corporate taxes, high-income taxes, massive regulations inhibiting growth, rising Biden-inflation, and a lack of skilled workers all contribute to our worst-in-the-nation business rating. In order to turn New Jersey around there are some key policy points that need to be enacted.
First of all, let's cut the corporate business tax in half. Currently, it's at 11.5% with 2.5% of that as a surcharge set to expire. Let's go further and cut the tax in half for businesses required to pay 4.5% will take us under the tax rate in PA and make NJ businesses more competitive.
Then let's reduce it to ZERO for businesses with only a handful of employees. Remember, history shows that when taxes are cut, we see a surge in economic growth and government revenue goes up. We saw the positive results of the economic growth stimulated by the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.
We've seen it over the past few decades with capital gains tax cuts as well. When government encourages growth by cutting taxes, revenues rise. It's actually that simple.
Secondly, we need to create tax incentives for both employees and businesses to encourage recruiting out of high school. How many kids are steered to attend college, and go into six-figure debt with little or no prospect of a decent-paying job? Why not offer sponsorship for trade schools to offer low-cost loans and credits toward the loan for those who are successful?
Third, we need to revamp the Department of Education to focus on alternatives and opportunities for high school juniors and seniors. Let's end the woke propaganda that dominates the discussion in schools and roll out financial literacy, agriculture studies, and what I call, "employment literacy". Plainly, we need to create a new dialogue that shows kids and parents it's OK and in many cases preferable to skip college.
Fourth, we should stop all subsidies for NJ higher education and put that toward trade schools, micro-schools, and apprentice programs. I'd start by taking back the BILLION dollars that Rutgers is wasting every year.
Our stop yesterday was in Howell, Monmouth County, where Jodi and I met many great people, including Sujal and Jyoti Wadhia who own the Salon Professional Academy of Howell.
I had a chance to speak to the group that assembled for our "common sense" town hall and many of the students embarking on their new careers. They offer training and certification in cosmetology, hairstyling, skin care, barbering, manicuring, and Make-up Designory.
The location is perfect, the opportunity for young people is limitless and the business owners are two of the nicest people we've met on the trail.
It's time to push New Jersey policymakers to prioritize businesses like this and stand up for the largest single employer in our state: small business.
In New Jersey, we have more than 900,000 small businesses employing nearly TWO MILLION people. We need government policy to encourage growth among these businesses and stimulate more hiring to help them thrive.