NJ Business Owners on the lookout for State Tax Credits

Trenton is offering expanded tax credits to New Jersey businesses who are hiring or expanding. NJ.com reports that N.J. firms snap up revamped tax break "Lured by more money and looser requirements, New Jersey businesses are lining up take advantage of a revamped tax incentive program aimed at keeping jobs in the state."

The numbers are impressive.  The article reports that:

So far this year, 16 companies have received a total of $44.1 million in tax breaks for retaining 6,000 jobs, and several others have won preliminary approval by the state's Economic Development Authority.
During the same period last year, five companies received $1.4 million in tax breaks for keeping about 1,400 jobs in the state.

Two key areas of change:

* Tax credits issued for retaining employees, not just hiring new ones

* Commercial tenants (as opposed to land owners) having a sales tax exemption on all equipment purchases and property improvements financed through a lease arrangement with the landlord.

 

Bagel with or without a schmeer of Tax?

New York City is justifiably known for its bagels - having lived in other parts of the country I can testify that it must be something in the water because they just can't get bagels right in Boston, Charlotte, Tampa or LA. What can't New York get right? How it taxes its famous bagels.

This a a true head scratcher. Buy an unsliced bagel - no sales tax. Buy a sliced bagel - sales tax. Now I know that everyone is looking for sales tax revenue, but seriously? What are they going to do, send in undercover bagel auditors to do a tally of sliced versus not? And what if the bagel is purchased wholesale pre-packed sliced with spread? Since you were not the perpetrator of the slice, are you subject to tax? Or if you offer a knife to your customers, do they need to pay for the privilege?

So if I buy a dozen unsliced bagels its $10.00. If I buy a dozed sliced it is $10.89 (the NYC sales tax is 8.875% made up of (1) City sales tax rate of 4.5%, (2) New York State sales tax of 4%, and (3) the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge of 0.375% - making Jersey look like a good deal).

Tax laws are necessary and even good I daresay (I for one appreciate having roads, police, and the army), but smart and reasonable tax policy is needed. This is an example of the hair on the end of the tail of the dog wagging the whole canine.


Thanks to Steven Loeb in our Tax Department for bringing the absurdity to my attention.