What is OpportunityNJ?
OpportunityNJ (ONJ) is a non-partisan, grassroots coalition comprised of New Jersey interests representing employers, employees, business, trade groups, community organizations and other concerned citizens in the State.
With no direct ties to political parties or government, ONJ serves as an independent voice to provide data based education about New Jersey policy actions – and to support policies that encourage job growth, affordability and prosperity in New Jersey.
New Jersey has long held the distinction of being the “innovation state”. It’s been an industrial powerhouse, the home to game-changing technologies and lifesaving pharmaceuticals – driving significant growth in jobs and the economy. And, in the process, local citizens and communities have realized one of the highest standards of living in the nation.
Yet, somewhere along the way, the knowledge and understanding of what created a strong New Jersey has been lost. Burdensome taxes and regulations have driven businesses, jobs and our own citizens – those who helped build this State – away. In fact, today:
- New Jersey ranks dead last in national rankings on the impacts of our four most significant taxes: property, income, sales and corporate business tax.
- The State is a significant outlier for the treatment of estate and inheritance taxes, as well as taxes on retirement and pension income.
- Outmigration of New Jersey residents has had a significant impact on the state’s economy. High taxes and numerous barriers for business operations are causing people to leave the state which has led to the loss of income, economic activity and job creation.
That’s why Opportunity NJ has been formed – to rebuild and maintain an environment that encourages and supports job creation, business opportunity and an affordable New Jersey for all residents.
We do not seek to be an advocacy group; we will educate all interested parties on solutions to issues facing the state through the dissemination of fact based data. Our group believes public policy decisions need a more inclusive process. In order to have a thorough and thoughtful decision, you need all interested parties involved in the solution. Also, issues need to be properly vetted, analyzed, and discussed.
To enhance and contribute to the process, those most affected by proposed policies must have a seat at the table guiding important discussions and negotiations.
Make New Jersey Affordable for all residents to live and work:
- Reduce our overall tax burden, cut through the red tape of government, and eliminate antiquated regulations that are a burden and undue cost to citizens and businesses.
- Advance the development and retention of a talented workforce where people are encouraged to stay due to the opportunities and affordability that a less burdensome environment provides.
- Guide investment of government resources towards areas that reinforce a positive work and living environment, such as improving aging infrastructure through dedicated and predictable funding sources.
Bring New Jersey Together Toward a “Common Ground” Goal
- Cultivate a grassroots network of diverse community, business, trade and citizen interests.
- Facilitate discussion and stimulate out of the box thinking about the issues impacting affordability in New Jersey.
- Develop collaborative solutions-based platforms, outside of the political arena and influences.
Establish a New Path for New Jersey: New Jersey’s GPS to Success:
- Recreate the process through which public policy solutions are developed and rebuild trust in that process through collective involvement and a solutions-based approach.
- Engage interested participants in the development of solutions-based platforms to achieve affordability and prosperity in New Jersey.
- Create Policy Committees to focus on specific issues of common concern, and work together to create recommended solutions to reach common objectives.
- Collect and analyze available data and research already conducted by New Jersey business organizations, community interests, think tanks, not-for-profits and even state and local agencies.
- Include evidence based data in all policy recommendations to educate decision makers on the impact of such policy on “affordability”.
- Conduct economic impact testing to all policy recommendations to ensure outcomes that drive “affordability.
- Together – outside of the political structure – create a strategic direction that addresses four immediate critical areas affecting affordability in New Jersey:
- Tax Reform
- Infrastructure Investment
- Workforce Development and Jobs
- Regulation Reform
OpportunityNJ: Public Policy Actions and their impact on “affordability”
While some public policy proposals may appear, on their surface, to provide popular solutions to select social, economic or community concerns, we must study these policies to understand their impact on affordability. In many instances, the proposed solutions may create further challenges for the very individuals or beneficiaries that they seek to support.
There are a number of policies that are currently being discussed that have no positive economic impact and if enacted as they are currently proposed, will have a negative effect on the affordability of New Jersey. For example, three concerns proposed just recently – mandatory paid sick leave, unilateral minimum wage increases, and a constitutional amendment requiring the state to make pension payments – all have been aggressively pursued through the legislature, with no analysis on their effect on the state’s broader interests or the resulting economic impact.
ONJ seeks to create more comprehensive solutions to the challenges that such proposals intend to address – solutions that do not simply place further undue burdens on the business community, while actually creating more harm than good for New Jersey and its citizens. To that end, ONJ is collecting research and available data throughout the state, while engaging broader interests into the process, to create solutions-based public policy proposals that will be much more effective in making New Jersey affordable.