Increased NJ Payroll Taxes for 2020

In case you all didn’t know, payroll tax rates will be increasing in 2020 for SUI/SDI contributions. Taxable income for employees is moving above $131,000 from $34,400 currently - almost 4 times greater!

A big thank you to a Governor Murphy for making this possible - the middle class loves being taxed more, instead of cutting expenses elsewhere.

Sep '19

They have to find a way to pay all the state employees their pensions somehow...

Metsman Metsman
Sep '19


Laurel Laurel
Sep '19

This has nothing to do with the pension system. NJ expanded coverage for Family leave and temporary disability benefits. If you have ever needed time off, WITH pay, to care for a sick family member or bond with a new baby, or because you have a non-work-related injury or illness, you know that this benefit is much-appreciated to get you through it. It has already been coming out of your pay. But, instead of the deduction ending when a person hits $34,400 for the year, it will continue to come out until your annual YTD hits $131,000, which means anyone making more than $34,400 will continue to be taxed. Essentially that means the people earning more will be contributing more.

Lonesome Dove Lonesome Dove
Sep '19

Has absolutely nothing to do with pension or healthcare payments. Has everything to do with working women having kids.

Has been on the books since February, have to say it took you awhile to notice :>) The current taxpayer CAP for FLI is $30.33 which, given the wage cap, is probably what you chipped in for last year's taxes. Next years is really a guess at this point. The wage cap has been estimated by EY, but NJ has not set the FLI tax rates yet, so we don't know the exact pain, but probably about an additional $100 or less per year given the average wage in NJ of $72K and the expected taxpayer wage cap to be FLI taxed moving from $34.4K to $131K, according to EY. I am guessing most of us are under that cap.

The FLI tax is for expanded family leave and temporary disability.

Currently the FED offers 12 weeks, unpaid.

This is for expansion of NJ's paid version.

Be happy tax tightwads; you can move almost anywhere else in the nation, and I suggest you hurry before tax season, to avoid this and other higher NJ taxes. Only five states offer paid leave so you can safely avoid this budget killing $100 bill....

I wonder if this has ever even attracted any young family-starting worker to choose NJ over other states for work? But, IMO, seeing my wife have a few kids while working full time ---- sure shooting I'm not going to suggest we duck payments for a little paid time off post delivery. You really want to stand up against the post-pregnant getting a helping hand?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '19

"Essentially that means the people earning more will be contributing more."

Which translates to-

"Those that work more are robbed more to give to people who aren't working, and didn't earn it".

Taxes in general are just forced theft for mostly horrible reasons.

Misused, wasted, and often handed out to serve personal political agendas.

I hate the system, and hate that people are brainwashed into thinking it is a good idea or even remotely fair and logical.

Yup, the Robin Hood deal. Sigh....

SD - Family Leave is not just for women having babies.

Calico696 Calico696
Sep '19

The argument here is not whether or not paid leave should be offered, I believe many would agree it should be. It’s how it is being funded. Raising taxes on the middle class is not the answer when there is so much waste elsewhere through tax payer money.

Also final rates were established and just released this past week. Can’t find an article online yet, but did receive the final numbers at work. I’ll double check this week but pretty sure it was $139,000 for employees and increased by $1,000 to $35,500 for employer contributions.

Sep '19

Have to pay for all the free handouts to the lazy pos somehow. Welcome to socialism

Philliesman Philliesman
Sep '19

“SD - Family Leave is not just for women having babies.”

But then what should have been said to hit the “emotion button” to get people on board? I mean, any mention of kids or women - how couldn’t anyone get behind it? Easy peasy when using that language ;-)

justintime justintime
Sep '19

It is not just for women having babies but I certainly enjoyed the extra time when I had my baby last year.
My friend also was able to spend the time helping take care of and just spending time with her mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mel81 Mel81
Sep '19

SD people would rather move to states that don't tax the crap out of them. Sorry but NJ isn't a good place to raise a family if your family makes less than $100k. Even for those that make more than that it's not the greatest place. Sure the area we live in is nice but it comes at a hefty price tag. So when we have to see idiots like Murphy raise taxes when like some have said, our money gets wasted a lot of times on dumb stuff, it's annoying.

Metsman Metsman
Sep '19

Just to clarify a few things. NJ FLI (Family Leave Insurance) was enacted in 1989 and a minimal deduction from your paycheck has been there for 30 years, to provide the right to take up to 6 weeks off from work to care for a newborn baby or a family member with a serious illness. It provides protection that your job will still be there when you return. Your employer cannot terminate you because you needed time off. The TDI (Temporary Disability Insurance) is similar, providing coverage if you get injured or ill (that is not work related). They are both insurance plans, and are funded by a small percentage of your paycheck. It's not a tax, it's not some evil government plot, you must have a job & be working to even qualify to collect on it, so it's not deadbeats taking off the workers. It is one of the good benefits that workers have available to them to help them get through rough financial times if there is a serious illness or injury in your family. But nothing comes free, so there is a small deduction from everyone's paycheck, and the new law increased the law to permit 12 weeks of leave and thus had to raise the maximum wage limit for when you would no longer have to contribute to it. That may seem like a lot of time, but if you have someone with cancer or a premature baby to care for, that really isn't a lot.

Lonesome Dove Lonesome Dove
Sep '19

"to take up to 6 weeks off from work to care for a newborn baby or a family member with a serious illness.............The TDI (Temporary Disability Insurance) is similar, providing coverage if you get injured or ill (that is not work related). "

You go to work to perform a task. If you are not at work you should not get paid.

Any agreement otherwise should be between the employer and employee.

If a good company wants good employees- they will offer good wage and benefits.

It should NOT be mandated theft by the government.

If you want to have a child- you should be prepared for ALL the costs involved- including time off work, feeding, clothing, day care, etc. If you can't afford it, don't do it- same as anything else in life.

What we have now is literally people doing things and everyone else pays for it- whether kids or injuries. Either way is wrong.

"They are both insurance plans, and are funded by a small percentage of EVERYONES paycheck."

If you want insurance- buy it yourself.

"It's not a tax, it's not some evil government plot"

It is 100% a tax to forcibly take money from someone you don't know, will never meet, and has their own bills to pay, mouths to feed.

Everybody should take care of themselves.

"workers have available to them to help them get through rough financial times if there is a serious illness or injury in your family."

I've been sick, I've been injured. I've been with no job. I've never taken a dime from anyone for it.

"if you have someone with cancer or a premature baby to care for, that really isn't a lot."

My father died from stage 4 stomach cancer. That was my burden to bear.

To expect or even think it is morally ok to force someone else to take from their own wallet and give it to me, regardless of hardship or emotion is wrong.

I crashed my motorcycle a year ago and was out of work for several weeks. Nobody paid but me.

I was also severely premature, weighing just over 2 pounds when born. Nobody had to chip in for that either.

It is 100% wrong for a tax to forcibly take money from someone you don't know, will never meet, and has their own bills to pay, mouths to feed.

Everybody should take care of themselves.

Taxes should only exist to pay for an exact item or service by only the people who use the exact item or service.

Sorry to hear about all you challenges, Josh, and glad to hear you were able to work it out for yourself. I myself will be contributing the extra and so will my husband. My husband has never used any of those and hopefully will never have the need. I have used it for the birth of my child and pay for everything else, but glad to have the lightened income for maternity leave and I did extend it and was grateful it was available.
I have had friends who could not afford to take the pay cut to help take care of their family members so continued to work and I have had friends and family who have used it for a short time to help care for and spend final moments with family members.
I know not everyone feels the same but I myself will pay the small amount extra for others to have that peace of mind.

Mel81 Mel81
Sep '19

Josh, if it’s so important to take care of yourself, why tell us about it?

If you or our parents did work, and therefore paid into these accounts, was not applying for the insurance payments really taking care of yourself?

Sure, it is a tax, it is forced, that’s fair game to kvetch about for any amount. Yet it is Constitutional as ordained by the Supremes, over and over. Welcome to the Republic. It’s a community thing where we stand alone on some things, stand together on others. Keep the faith for personal responsibility, it’s a good fight. But this one? $30-$100 bucks a year to help out families? Including your own if you work? Seems like tilting at windmills a bit.

Up until this recent version, you do realize we are talking about a maximum of a $30 a year insurance premium. I guessed the expanded version might be $100 but that’s a swag estimate.

Really folks, seems like much ado about nothing. You didn’t even squeak when the fall promise of a middle class tax cut for big bucks was conveniently swept under the carpet and you got nada on that promise. Not a peep against that.

So, who is passing on SS? Or will anyone stop taking it after you reach the value you put in, plus interest? Josh?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Sep '19

“I myself will be contributing the extra and so will my husband.”

Almost sounds like you were given a choice :-)

justintime justintime
Sep '19

But it’s ok for a Republican governor or president to tax.

For reals For reals
Sep '19

These are 100% payroll taxes....go to and you will see it even says “tax rates” for disability and unemployment insurance.

Same thing as being taxed for social security and Medicare.

Sep '19

Very good, yes it is a tax. It is also an insurance premium. It is also a sinking fund. M


Jit, you are given a choice on this one. 44 other choices actually.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Sep '19

What sucks is if you have 2 full time jobs and have to take disability, you can only take it from 1 employer. Dispite paying into it from both jobs.


You are "right on the money"....we pay, pay and pay ….and when we have an issue , no one digs into their pocket .

steven steven
Sep '19

Nothing to do with pensions, but because we have no excess monies due to the pensions every little new program gets a new tax...

Budget allocations due to pensions/health care has reached , and surpassed critical mass.
Restructuring, reductions must be made NOW.
Let’s be real.

Stymie Stymie
Sep '19

The easiest way to reduce your NJ payroll taxes is to quit working, or at least quit working in NJ :>(

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '19

Best of both worlds: stop working in NJ, move out of the state to a state with no taxes, and then stay on this board for people who live in a very specific area and continue to complain

honestyseasy honestyseasy
Sep '19

I'm with you 100% Josh!

Sep '19

And just think, in N.J., the budget has still not been balanced. Grandma and Grandpa have not paid the overdue money owed to the retirees (themselves) and keep asking for more money and benefits. Kind of like asking for a raise and a tax break at the same time. Honestyseasy is right- if you are older, just leave N.J.- leave the debt behind 220 BILLION plus, and don't worry about it, someone else will pay.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
Sep '19

Couldn't agree with you more Josh!!

Since the max benefit is 85% of your salary up to $860 per week why should any amount over $52 k be taxed in this manner? If its $100 no biggie I guess but it's not going to actually benefit anyone in a higher income bracket

Skippy Skippy
Sep '19

"I'm with you 100% Josh!" said one-time wonder, imwjosh. And his doppelganger, Imwjosh2. Lots of Galt's Gulchers here today. You've lost the NJ battle, but have faith, it's at the Federal Level for all 50 states and then you can't escape.... But you can win the Fed. Meanwhile....Alaska will do ya...…h-ewasy.

FYI: I do not believe these earmarked funds can be used in the General Fund to fund pensions, healthcare, etc.. I am pretty sure the state can not use the General Fund to fund FLI/TDI insurance although that may not have occurred. Also, contrary to urban lore, the NJ Budget is balanced. It's Constitutional, most states have it.

However.…...while IMO you FLI/TDI naysayers are mostly wrong, IMO --- you have got something right too. How about that :>)

One thing, you are right that this tax change might be bigger than I said. I am spot on the FLI, but the TDI is a different beast. It's bigger. Therefore, IMO, this is probably not a priority given other tax, budget, debt, etc. NJ priorities.

The numbers say: “state labor department estimated the maximum payroll deduction for TDI will rise from $58.48 this year to $235.80 next year, while the maximum deduction for FLI will increase from $27.52 this year to $117.90 next year.” The estimate is from 4/19, the rates were not out, it is the state's estimate.

According to the article, we pay $86 currently (capped at $34.4K income). The new FLI is pretty much a <$100 hit nit: you probably spend more in street charity to strangers. The TDI is almost $200 more meaning, in total, it’s close to a $300 hit. I don't know about you, but $300 still means something to me.

Since the taxable income cap moved from $34.4K to $131K, this increase is somewhat mitigated for many by the new progressive nature of the tax, meaning those who make more, pay more. At a $34.4K cap, it's really not progressive, but fixed, or regressive. The state continues, for example, “For the two programs combined, the current payment is $86 for workers making $34,400 or more. That payment will rise to $92.88 for a worker making $34,400. A worker making $60,000 will kick in $162. And someone making $131,000 or more will pay a total of $353.70.”

So, there’s your answer. With NJ’s median income in 2017 of about $80K, 50% of us will pay around $100 extra for both programs. And those making $131K or more will pony up about $275 more.

And therein is the rub where I agree with you. NJ has other higher priorities; many of which involve our sky-high taxes but also, IMO, the entire tax structure which focuses on property, not income, as the lever that supplies the grease to our budgetary wheels. Independent of the total burden, the focus is not competitive with the other 49 states. We suck in other words. While these programs seem beneficial to me, and rubbing Gulchers the wrong way may be a deal for $300 :>) (kidding), I just don't think it's time to raise the burden on the 7th highest total tax burden in the land that focuses on property tax, unlike any other state in the land.

As I said earlier, economically,I don’t think anyone moved to NJ to take advantage of our FLI/TDI insurance programs. Not one. So, why are we doing this at this time. Only a handful of other states even bother, so even if I think the programs are a grand idea, to spend the time to muck with them at this time is time wasted IMO.

I think you are right, on that point, and I think $300 increase is noticeable. I still think the concept of the programs is great, you Gulchers are crying a bit in your beer, but the State should of left it alone for other priorities instead of raising the specter of tax and spend. Not for this. Not at this time.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '19

Lonesome Dove is exactly right and this is a perfectly reasonable tax. I'd prefer to see no cap - same with SS.

If you work you pay taxes. Some of you will be able to benefit from these laws. Others, it may be past your time but your kids and grand kids will benefit. I bet many of you will benefit from it in 5 to 10 years when you're put into a home and your kids have to take care of you while you spew gibberish from a hospital bed (some of you have gotten started on this early)

Having the ability to spend time with newborns will likely pay dividends for decades, I for one believe parents who are active in their child's life make a difference and help the child turn out better. I'll bet it'll reduce court and jail costs 10 fold this investment over the next 100 years.

Don't like it, you can always leave and live in a socialist state like Florida or Alabama. Yes, they're socialist, since they live off the government like the welfare leeches they are. Just like the corporate welcome package for farmers that's twice as expensive as the auto bailout.

honestyseasy: lmfao. Gotta love people who love to complain about other people's problems!

alpha1beta alpha1beta
Sep '19

alpha1beta I would bet there are a lot more free loaders in NJ than Alabama. Their population is less than half of NJ. Cities like Newark, Paterson, and Camden probably exceed any numbers in that entire state. Nice try though.

Metsman Metsman
Sep '19

Ok then actually uncap it - this has a benefit cap and a contribution cap just like SS

Skippy Skippy
Sep '19

Looks like another thread about to be locked because the “great one” (as in ego) has pontificated once again and begin the insults. Sheesh

justintime justintime
Sep '19

The only benefit of uncapping either offering more benefits or letting the poor pay less. Neither is needed at this time IMO since I believe the plan pays for itself unless Iman keeps growing the herd ;-). For social security; still want a cap —- just a much higher one. And that’s because we are in deficit mode heading to debt mode. The plan pays for itself, but not much longer without re-engineering. Either raise the tax, lower the benefits, or both. I don’t think it can touch the General Fund without new law which is a great structure to force Congress to fix it right. That’s the way to do these. Now, Medicare; that one is just fubar, from $$$ deficit, to structure. We run out of cash and tap the Tax receipts every year, by law. Congress just sighs and moves on, no emergency. Either make if self sustaining or give up and just tap the General Fund and skip the useless Medicare tax.

Pot kettle jit.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Sep '19

Understood but I would think it's a matter of providing the same benefit for all who contribute in regard to earnings - if you make 1k a day and contribute at that rate you should get your 85%.

Skippy Skippy
Sep '19

Or.... realize reality is nobody owes you anything.

"All man were created equal"

And then one day- someone thought to walk up to someone dim witted and say- I know what is best, I'll take care of everything, but that costs money. Pay me and everything will be all right.

Why? Because he said so.

And so literally at some point in history- somebody was dumb enough to pay someone else based on false belief (not surprising also back when thinking a storm was because 'god' was mad, etc)....

So- man in charge was given money first by one, then by more- and soon enough had enough influence (money) to pay goons to enforce his new way.

Those goons still exist. Stop paying the thieves and men with guns WILL eventually take you away.

(and I always pay 100% of my taxes- not because I agree with the system, not because I would not fight- but because I know nobody else would join me...and I am out numbered) Smart enough to know, smart enough to know better... we are.

Nobody owes you anything from the cradle to the grave.

Every penny you take in programs like this is stealing from others who may need it themselves- and they should keep what ever they worked for.

You did not do the work- you have no claim to reach into their pocket and take from them.

Easy to lie to yourself and justify when you never have to go face to face to that person and rip the money from their hands.

Do you really think 100% of whatever the excuse is, actually goes to what the excuse is?

No- it is all deceit and pockets and bank accounts are padded. Elections are won, fortunes are made- on pandering to the feeble minded, poor, or bleeding hearts.

Funny- that is the same reason payroll tax deductions exist, gov knows best to take the money before you have it- because if you had to write a check each month, or worse hand over cash physically to a person, the system would collapse.

Tax 'refund' at the end of the year cracks me up as well- anyone ever calculate the interest the gov makes on all that money all year long- and they are still broke?

Wake up people.

Dodge, no way the 220 billion will be paid in full...

I think the main problem is they should not have to tax us extra for this. These idiots abuse so much tax money it's rediculous. NJ property taxes for example is just out of control. I think family leave extension is amazing. But they have so much fn money already they could have fixed some of there own loop holes. You cannot defend this Murphy nut.

Forcefed4door Forcefed4door
Sep '19

Josh, you bring up very good points, basically boiled down to personal responsibility. IMO, we are all socialists and capitalists, we all believe in community programs and personal responsibility. It's all about where you draw the line.

You feel FLI, TDI, are over the line. I feel, for the money, they are good to have because people DON'T take personal responsibility, and I, for one, do not want live with those results not personally pay for their negligence. If I was not bothered by the results of others poor choices or bad luck, I would be in your camp 100%.

I do feel the recent FLI/TDI increase is mistimed given our other NJ priorities. You say that "Nobody owes you anything from the cradle to the grave" and personal responsibility, not government mandate is the way, which, I gather, means all entitlement programs like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment and Welfare Programs. All of these programs pool funds to provide support for those in need. Forced insurance as you note. So if nobody owes you, and we all should stand resolute on personal responsibility, then wouldn't you add:

FEMA: you chose to build your house there.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES: you should choose what books to have, not someone else
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: you had the kids, you educate them
ARMED FORCES: I didn't ask for that war....

I can go on since every Federal/State program is really an abrogation of personal responsibility. Viva la mountain men! Point is it's where you draw the line. But what happens without community spirit, community support, and common funding pools to solve big jobs.

No FEMA --- need I say more about the effect?
No SS --- 21% of Americans have no savings. Most don't save enough for retirement. Many people think SS is their retirement and without it would have nothing? How many end up with SS and nothing else? SS administration estimates are 21% married and 44% of single seniors rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. That's dismal enough. Imagine no SS.....what would you pay then?
No Medicare: when the bankrupt hit the hospital, we pay anyway. And we pay much more. If you tell them about personal responsibility, hit the bricks, you have a bigger problem than forced insurance, and more costly to your pocketbook than forcing them to buy insurance.
Unemployment: what do you think the 2008 recession would look like without this program? 10% without work, (remember the lack of savings), without food, what do you think the effect would be.

I do like your concept of personal responsibility. I also like offering a hand up, not a hand out even if my financial support yields zero benefit to me. Yes, I get pissed when my neighbors have RVs, boats, etc. and then get public assistance to send kids to college. But I let it go. Sure, if someone scams the Welfare system, I get pissed. But the good outweighs the scams IMO.

Many of these programs are really insurance systems, yes, forced ones, but insurance nonetheless. People have proven they will consistently NOT take responsibility, so apparently, force is necessary. Teachable moments in this case are very ugly and more expensive to your and my pocketbook. Plus, I hate seeing homeless, sick, old people in the doorways. IMO, these programs force the issue so that we don't have to live with the consequences of bad actions.

Forced4door: FLI/TDI funds are earmarked for those programs and can not be used for the General Fund or vice-versa. Has been that way since 2010 when Ballot question number 1 mandating this passed overwhelmingly. Makes you wonder why they didn't do it from the git go, but I guess they believed in "legislative responsibility." :>) Social Security is that way too. Medicare is not and that just stinks.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '19

Wait till one of these radical Democrats who want medicare for all and free college get in. Your taxes will be so high you won't be able to afford anything.

Metsman Metsman
Sep '19

Radical dude, radical... Let's talk issues and please, please, try to avoid the obvious political language... facts, issues, descriptions --- maybe less of the us versus them, whoever them are. Avoid the M-word for NJ, the T-word for national. But let's see if we can discuss the issues with a minimum of finger pointing, name calling and the like.

I am more interested in how FLI and TDI work, not who did what to who. Hope you are too.

ps: fyi, I think everyone wants to know the price tag.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '19

Metsman, I hope that wasn't racism, but it sure looks like it - saying there's a bunch of lazy government leeches in three cities with huge black populations. At best its dog whistle racism. The same as Trump saying "sh*thole countries" or that Baltimore is rat infested.

Have you been to any of them recently? Both Newark and Camden are a lot better than 15-20 years ago. Shame the Riversharks left Camden. So it Detroit by the way. Haven't been to Patterson in a while so I can't speak to that.

Josh: you can choose how much is deducted, if you're employed, talk to your boss or HR and ask them to adjust yours so you get close to no refund or even owe money. Most of us prefer to err on the side of caution. Plus, it's not like that would get any significant interest in a bank anyway.

Also Josh: "Every penny you take in programs like this is stealing from others who may need it themselves- and they should keep what ever they worked for."

This is exactly why we say tax the rich. They are people who take more out of the system than they put in on a daily basis - through their use of resources like highways, police, courts, etc, and their avoidance of their civic responsibility (paying taxes), to their refusal to pay decent wages to people (like you, perhaps) who work hard, do a good job but are not adequately rewarded because there's no incentive for them to pay you more. They skimp out on their responsibility to the country, state and us, and in turn, leave us paying for their messes, while always always avoiding personal responsibility for their actions.

How about we tax the lazy rich? Those who collect passive income and don't "work" for it like the rest of us. Landlords, stock owners, etc.

And every penny used to avoid a penny in taxes means you pay a penny out of pocket. And those leecher states? When Florida uses federal money for hurricane cleanup because they've exhausted their own emergency fund, guess who's paying that? If they taxes their own citizens - even a few pennies, you up here in NJ wouldn't need to pay those same few pennies to the feds.

Also, the people you're talking about are the exact ones who will benefit the most.

Sure, they'll lose out on $100 on income that's taxes - so less than 50 cents a week - but if they take even one week paid, they'd get a benefit more than 4x what they paid in that year (assuming minimum wage, $11, full time). Sure, the millionaire might take it too, but for them it might not be worth the paperwork. Not to mention, you can't even buy a pack of ramen noodles for that today, so the "harm" is essentially non-existent.

"NJ property taxes for example is just out of control." Sure they're high. But we're either the top of 2nd top state for education almost every year. You get what you pay for.

alpha1beta alpha1beta
Sep '19


justintime justintime
Sep '19

“This is exactly why we say tax the rich.”

The reality is that “we” tax the rich simply because they have the money. And we don’t. And we want it. So we take it.

justintime justintime
Sep '19

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