Millionaire’s tax would hurt small biz owners

Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed the Legislature’s budget even though it didn’t include a higher tax on millionaires he had championed. He went to war with legislative leaders of his own party over the issue, calling it “tax fairness,” claiming he would spend the money on low- and middle-income families. As state director of NFIB, which advocates for small businesses, I know many owners would have been negatively impacted by a millionaire’s tax even though those entrepreneurs make $70,000 on average a year.

There are many reasons a millionaire’s tax would hurt small businesses. Legislative leaders feared it might drive wealthy people to tax-friendly states. Then their share of New Jersey’s high taxes would fall on the backs of small business owners and other taxpayers.

A millionaire’s tax would hurt small business owners who want to sell their company for retirement income. High property values can easily push the proceeds of a sale over $1 million. It’s not fair that a retirement nest egg would be subject to a much higher tax rate.

Some small business owners may inadvertently fall into the millionaire category when paying annual income taxes, even though they are not wealthy. It’s because most are set up as pass-though entities like partnerships, LLCs or sole proprietorships. Those companies file personal and business income on a personal income tax form, unlike corporations.

Gov. Murphy may have a heart for the poor, which is admirable, but his millionaire’s tax was misguided. The governor would be better to encourage entrepreneurship — even suggest that low-income people start their own businesses. Small businesses hire half of New Jersey’s workforce; they are responsible for almost half the nation’s GDP and payroll.

Did Murphy forget that in America, even in New Jersey, starting a business from scratch and building it with hard work and motivation is admirable? It’s also good for the communities where these businesses are located, for those they employ, and for the state economy.

While it doesn’t happen often, a few small business owners may even become millionaires — which shouldn’t be considered punishable by higher taxes.

Laurie Ehlbeck

Manahawkin

Mainland bike path could use more parking

The weather was nice so I got out on the Somers Point-Pleasantville bike path. I wanted to start from Decatur Avenue in Pleasantville but there was only street parking, no public parking lot. I thought it strange because Somers Point has two designated bike path parking areas. One is in front of the Somers Point Mansion and the other is behind the Somers Point Police Department.

I couldn’t find parking on the street. There should be a parking lot for bike path users. If it can’t be put at Decatur Avenue, then maybe nearby.

I parked at Dolphin Avenue in Northfield on the large grass median next to the bike path. There’s was plenty of room for several vehicles but no parking lot. I noticed most bikers and runners turn around at Dolphin and then someone pointed out a sign: “No Parking On Grass Median, Violators Will Be Towed.” So I parked in front of a residence but felt uncomfortable about it.

The grass median is large and could easily be made into a parking area for maybe eight vehicles. Considering that many turn around at Dolphin Avenue, it could be an end point for them.

Bike path parking lots in Pleasantville might help users realize the bike path extends well into the city.

Chris Bonsall

Scullville

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