Bipartisan legislation to ensure that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that are forgiven by the Federal Government are exempt from New Jersey’s gross income tax was recently signed into law.
The legislation, S-3234, sponsored by State Sens. Anthony Bucco (R-25) and Troy Singleton (D-7), ensures that forgiven PPP loans are not unduly taxed. The law also allows the deduction of expenses paid for by a PPP loan.
“I am pleased that this legislation was signed…as we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the small business community in New Jersey,” said Bucco in a press statement. “I can name dozens of family restaurants, small retail shops, and other establishments that have either closed their doors forever or are struggling everyday to stay open.”
The PPP loan program was established under the CARES Act, a federal law enacted in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The PPP offers loans to small businesses in order to help them keep employees on their payroll during the pandemic. Some or all of the loan may be forgiven by the Federal Government if certain conditions are met.
“For many, the federal PPP loans were a godsend that helped them stay open, “ said Singleton. “With this law, New Jersey is allowing businesses to deduct forgiven PPP loans from state taxes, providing further relief as we continue to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.”
Under the federal program, the Small Business Administration approved approximately $525 billion in loans for small businesses—$17 billion given to New Jersey businesses—to support payroll expenses and other non-payroll costs, such as mortgage interest and utility costs. To incentivize loan recipients to maintain existing staff, the program allowed loans to be forgiven if the borrower met certain payroll and employment retention criteria.
Helping Small Businesses
“Our small businesses have been pummeled over the past year. Many of our favorite family establishments have already closed, and numerous others are at risk of shutting down,” added Singleton, Chair of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
Under the CARES Act, both New Jersey lawmakers said Congress clearly intended for recipients of forgiven PPP loans to be able to deduct the expenses. Many loan recipients retained employees on their payrolls, even when there was little to no work to perform, in compliance with the intent of the program to keep people employed and off the unemployment rolls.
Bucco stated, “During this extremely difficult time, small business owners should not have to worry about additional taxes. New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. During this pandemic, when small businesses are literally struggling to survive, the last thing they need is yet another tax.”
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 8,572,308 in-state, plus an additional 357,974 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 8,930,282 as of May 28. Of those who have received the vaccine, 4,013,517 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 167,675 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 4,181,192.
Demographically, 54% of those vaccinated are women and 46% men. As for ethnicity, 52% are White, 13% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 7% Black, 9% other and 8% unknown. In regards to the age of those having received the vaccine, 28% are 65 years old or olders, 28% are between the ages of 50-64, 29% are between the ages of 30-49, and 16% are between the ages of 12-29.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 942,306 doses (443,613 fully vaccinated), Essex 702,573 doses (323,711), Hudson 602,131 doses (272,086), Morris 563,798 doses (265,997), Passaic 429,801 doses (199,109), Sussex 131,116 doses (62,343), and Warren 84,718 doses (40,213).
As of May 28, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 887,116 with 379 total new PCR cases reported. There were 81 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 128,518. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,015,634.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 12 new deaths, bringing that total to 23,515. The state listed probable deaths at 2,670, bringing the overall total to 26,185. State officials noted nine deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on May 28, Bergen had a total of 32 new confirmed cases and 13 nw probable cases, Essex 54 new cases and two new probable cases, Hudson 28 new cases and one new probable cases, Morris 23 new cases and three new probable cases, Passaic 44 new cases and seven new probable cases, Sussex four new cases and two new probable cases, and Warren three new cases and two new probable case.
There are a total of 4,295 coronavirus variants being reported in the Garden State. State officials documented 3,968 cases of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), 160 cases of the California variants (B.1.429 and B.1.427), 156 cases of the Brazilian (P.1) variant, and 11 cases of the South African (B.1.351) variant.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,686, followed by Bergen at 2,568, Hudson with 2,065, Passaic at 1,719, Morris at 973, Sussex at 234 and Warren County at 211.
In regards to probable deaths reported May 26, Bergen has 298, Essex has 299, Morris has 257, Hudson has 215, Passaic has 198, Sussex has 68 and Warren has 25.
As for the rate of transmission reported May 28, it increased to 0.80 from 0.78 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested as of May 23, was 2.7%; by region, the rate was 3.0% in the North, 2.2% in the Central region and 2.9% in the South.
Officials reported 572 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 289 in the North, 136 in the Central and 147 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 118 are in intensive care units and 78 on ventilators. A total of 90 patients were discharged, while 34 were admitted.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 89,643, followed by Middlesex at 84,604, Essex at 84,482, Hudson at 78,627, Monmouth at 67,364, Ocean at 65,517, Passaic at 65,454, Union at 60,303, Camden at 48,859, Morris at 41,784, Burlington at 38,180, Mercer at 31,538, Gloucester at 26,478, Atlantic at 24,889, Somerset at 24,248, Cumberland at 14,819, Sussex at 11,660, Warren at 8,926, Hunterdon at 8,879, Salem at 5,539, and Cape May at 4,599.
In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 14,563, followed by Union at 10,995, Ocean at 10,165, Essex at 9,451, Hudson at 9,213, Morris at 8,254, Monmouth at 8,062, Middlesex at 7,454, Passaic at 7,326, Camden at 6,651, Atlantic at 6,621, Burlington at 5,949, Somerset at 5,759, Cape May at 4,565, Gloucester at 3,986, Mercer at 2,399, Sussex at 2,303, Cumberland at 2,242, Warren at 1,027, Hunterdon at 894, and Salem 538.
Another 724 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 281 outbreaks involving 1,263 cases, accounting for 18 additional outbreaks and 106 cases from the previous weekly update on May 17.
For North Jersey, Bergen County has 53 confirmed outbreaks with 202 cases, Sussex has 18 confirmed outbreaks with 78 cases, Passaic County has 16 confirmed outbreaks with 57 cases, Warren has 15 confirmed outbreaks with 36 cases, Morris County has five confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Hudson County has five confirmed outbreaks with 23 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 136 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 3,204 of the cases, broken down between 1,282 residents and 1,922 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,469 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,884 residents and 22,273 staff, for a total of 55,157.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,050 on May 28. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,887 residents deaths and 144 staff deaths.