Gottheimer Hails Tax Cut Wins for New Jersey Families, Seniors, and Businesses

Jan 25, 2018

Above: Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) hails his tax cut wins for New Jersey families alongside CIANJ President Anthony Russo and HINJ CEO Dean Paranicas.

Today, Congressman Josh Gottheimer hailed new tax cut wins for New Jersey families, seniors, and businesses by discussing the recently passed, bipartisan legislation to cut the Health Insurance and Medical Device Taxes.

Standing alongside President of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ), Tony Russo, and CEO of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), Dean Paranicas, Congressman Gottheimer discussed the added benefit that New Jersey families, seniors, and businesses will see because of the repeal of these two devastating taxes.

“The tax cuts I voted for will keep jobs in New Jersey and bring much-needed savings to local families and businesses,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “With both Republicans and Democrats united against them, the HIT Tax and the Medical Device Tax were stopped in their tracks. I am proud to help keep New Jersey jobs in New Jersey, and to stop them from being sent overseas or to Moocher States. From day one, I committed to fight for bipartisan solutions that get Jersey families and businesses what they need and deserve. And that’s what I will keep doing, working across the aisle to get the Fifth District commonsense tax cuts like these.”

Vincent A. Forlenza, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BD noted, “On behalf of our 2,400 associates in New Jersey, I want to thank Congressman Gottheimer for his leadership in the fight to repeal the medical device tax. Congressman Gottheimer came to visit our headquarters in Franklin Lakes during his first month on the job, and he immediately understood the impact the device tax has on innovation. His support to suspend the device tax for two years will enable us to continue to invest in bringing new products to patients.”

CIANJ President Anthony Russo said, “On behalf of the members of CIANJ, we ask Congress to immediately repeal this tax which is bad for business and bad for New Jersey. We need Congress to advance policies that bring economic growth, job creation and prosperity to our state – this tax will do the opposite.”

Continued Russo, “We stand with Congressman Josh Gottheimer and support his efforts to eliminate this harmful tax which places an undue financial burden on businesses and individual consumers. We urge Congress to pass H.R. 246 and repeal HIT immediately.”

HINJ CEO Dean Paranicas said, “We are delighted to be here to recognize Congressman Gottheimer for his continued focus on our innovation community, which is so vital to the advancement of science. In particular to thank him for his support for the suspension of the Medical Device Excise Tax, which hits medical technology jobs across the industry.”

Video of the event can be found here.

Congressman Gottheimer’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

When it comes to taxes, we have had more than enough. New Jersey residents are overtaxed and we simply we can’t afford any tax new increase at any level. If we are going to attract and keep families, businesses, and jobs, we need to look for every way to cut taxes. With the recently passed Tax Hike Bill, the Moochers reached into our wallets again and have taken even more, gutting the State and Local Tax Deduction and raising our taxes. It’s highway robbery.

Two months ago, I went to Vision Retirement in Ridgewood and promised that I would fight back against another tax — the Health Insurance Tax or HIT – that’s threatening our seniors, businesses, and everyone purchasing insurance.

The HIT Tax – is a tax on top of your already-high health insurance premiums. NJBIZ reported on a new study that confirmed “A majority of New Jerseyans think their health insurance premiums are too high.” And this tax makes matters worse.

And then there’s the Medical Device Tax – a 2.3 percent tax on life-saving products like pacemakers, artificial joints, and innovative equipment that help keep people alive.

Today, I’m proud to announce that last week, I voted to cut the Health Insurance Tax and the Medical Device Tax. Last week, these two taxes were stopped in their tracks. The HIT Tax and the Medical Device Tax promised to be two of the most devastating taxes for New Jersey families, businesses, and seniors.

And they were stopped with both Republicans and Democrats united against them.

These are all parts of my broader Tax Cut Plan to look for every way to not only get the state and local tax deduction back in place, but to find ways to fight back against the gutting of the state and local tax deduction – including ways, we believe, to take the current tax code and work with towns to get our taxes down.

I’m proud to be able to deliver these bipartisan wins. It’s why I work every week with the Problem Solvers Caucus that I co-chair – a group of 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans that fights to find commonsense solutions like these where we can agree to get things done, together.

Working across the aisle, sitting down at the table, and getting things done despite our disagreements, these are the New Jersey Values that I fight for every day in Congress, so that at the end of the day, the people of the Fifth District go home with a little bit more of what they earned and worked hard for in their pocket.

The tax cuts we blocked this week will create New Jersey jobs, improve our health care, and provide for the common good,

Let me talk a little more about these tax cuts, beginning with the Health Insurance Tax.

Seniors — like those who go to Vision Retirement for help — have given so much to our communities; we owe it to them to make sure they are taken care of in retirement.

Our seniors, who are often living on fixed incomes, shouldn’t end up paying more in taxes and health care because of an unnecessary tax.

And small businesses — like those represented by CIANJ — shouldn’t have to deal with yet another expense, like the HIT Tax, that will make it harder for them to grow and compete.

When talking about the HIT, even the government admits it is going to raise costs on businesses large and small, on families, and on seniors.

The HIT tax is aptly named; because that’s exactly what it is: a hit. It’s a hit to our families, who will pay more in health care premiums. It’s a hit to our employers and our small businesses, who are going to see costs go up at a time when they desperately need relief. And it’s a hit to our seniors. And the health care experts Dean represents here today agree these taxes would hit New Jersey particularly hard.

According to one study, New Jersey residents who purchase their health care on the individual marketplace would see their premiums increase by $178 under the Health Insurance Tax. And seniors and individuals with disabilities on Medicare Advantage plans would see their premiums go up by $516 per couple. That’s outrageous.

Small businesses and their employees would take a huge hit. For small employers, family coverage would go up a whopping $556. And large businesses fare even worse: they’ll see premiums increase by $615 for family coverage.

That’s a total premium hike of $773 million across New Jersey. A $773 million increase in costs for entrepreneurs starting a business, mothers and fathers raising their families, and employers looking to grow and hire new workers.

And $773 million that our seniors will have to pay for out of their retirement.

When you translate that into economic impact, the consequences of this tax are even more startling.

According to the National Federal of Independent Research, the HIT tax would cost New Jersey more than 2,000 jobs by 2023. The same study said that New Jersey small businesses would lose $380 million in sales from the tax.

It’s expensive; and to me, it’s an unacceptable tax hike on our state’s seniors and businesses and that’s why I’ve fought against it since taking office.

In the fall, I joined a letter to Congressional Leadership, urging them to kill the HIT tax, and our legislation this week will delay the HIT for another year until at least 2019. And I co-sponsored “The Jobs and Premium Protection Act,” to immediately repeal the HIT tax for good. It’s a bipartisan bill with more than 170 congressmen and congresswomen from both sides of the aisle as sponsors.

Since running for office, I’ve also been a strong advocate of eliminating the Medical Device Tax – a tax that hurts one of our most important industries in my district and our state, holds back R&D and innovation in medical technology, and would cost patients thousands of dollars.

That’s why I helped introduce the bipartisan “Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017,” to repeal the Medical Device Tax. And with that same vote last week, we blocked the Medical Device Tax and its drag on the North Jersey economy.

To put this in perspective, between 2011 and 2014, when the tax was in full effect, the Medical Device Tax cost America 33,000 medical technology industry jobs, and cost the American economy 165,000 total jobs. One-third of MedTech companies reduced their research and development as a result.

The Medical Device Tax harms job creation, deters medical innovation needed to save and improve patients’ lives, and inhibits economic growth.

Medical device and medical technology companies are among my district’s and New Jersey’s largest employers. In my District alone, we have Becton Dickinson, Stryker, Teva Zimmer Pharmaceuticals, and others. BD employees more than 1,800 New Jerseyans. Stryker Orthopedics in Mahwah adds another 1,400. Johnson & Johnson contributes $4.8 billion to New Jersey’s economy, supporting 34,400 jobs.

Twelve of the world’s top medical technology companies have facilities in New Jersey and 900,000 New Jerseyans play a role in our life sciences sector, an industry that spends $1.4 billion in New Jersey.

More than half of new FDA drug approvals come from companies with a footprint in our state. Pretty incredible.

This week, I voted to keep these New Jersey jobs in New Jersey, and to stop them from being sent overseas or to Moocher States.

We need to keep working to get our fiscal house in order and to help people, of all ages, get affordable medical care and lower taxes.

I will always work to ensure that Jersey families and businesses get the tax cuts they need and deserve and I will always fight for bipartisan solutions that are good for all of us.

Thank you and may God bless you.

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