A new survey finds most certified public accountants in New Jersey believe the state economy will continue to get worse for the rest of the year.

Ralph Albert Thomas, the chief executive officer and executive director of the New Jersey Society of CPAs, said a just-released report finds 65% of CPAs in the Garden State think the Jersey economy will go downhill for the remainder of 2022, while 68% believe economic conditions throughout the entire U.S. will get worse for the remainder of the year.

He noted a similar poll was conducted in 2021 and the findings “are in sharp contrast to last year’s result, where 30% felt the U.S. economy would get worse, and 36% felt the New Jersey economy would get worse.”

Top challenges

Thomas said the top challenges to economic growth cited by the CPAs are “inflation, regulatory requirements, availability of skilled personnel, supply chain problems and the state and federal policies that are unfriendly to the business community.”

In the survey, 74% of respondents said the most helpful governmental steps for businesses would be inflation-fighting measures and 51% also said keeping the corporate business tax low was important.

Thomas said regulatory requirements were also highlighted as a very serious concern in the Garden State.

Not business-friendly

Thomas said to improve conditions, “one of the things is to do some work on the regulatory environment. We have a lot of regulations that other states and territories don’t have.”

He said to make the state more business-friendly, the corporate tax rate should be lowered, and “also we need to make sure we properly invest in infrastructure, companies want to come to a place where it’s easy to get around.”

The survey found about 70% of CPAs who work in public accounting had advised their clients to think about moving out of state.

He said it is well known New Jersey has high taxes and CPAs are obligated to give this kind of advice because they have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients and businesses to make those suggestions.

“We’ve got to have a business-friendly environment, we’ve got a huge number of small businesses here but they have not gotten the help that we feel they need to be getting."

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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