November 4, 2019 12:06 pm

Welcome to the New Year, New Jersey! Are you finding it hard to be optimistic about the future of New Jersey?

According to the Tax Foundation, New Jersey is ranked once again as 50th. We are the State with the worst business climate in the entire country. We also have the distinction of having the largest debt per taxpayer in the Country, more than $65,000 per taxpayer, according to Truth in Accounting. If that isn’t bad enough, we have the 2nd highest income tax rates in the USA, which do not sit well with our higher income earners as the new Trump Tax law eliminates deductions of over $10,000 for property taxes.

Heard enough? We do have some State Municipal Incentive Programs, many of which are hard to manage and do not compete effectively with State competitors like North Carolina, Texas or Florida.

The debates in Trenton are endless, but this all comes down to dollars and a willingness to make attracting business a priority. Over the last year there has been a concerted effort to attract and grow the Pharma and Bio Life-sciences communities, with some success, but the competition from States like Massachusetts and California is fierce.

Unfortunately, the real priorities in Trenton seem to be legalizing Cannabis, which is hyped as the next big tax revenue raiser to save the Garden State, and Governor Murphy’s delusion that a millionaire’s tax would somehow raise tax revenues. Did you know that New Jersey’s top 20 families pay more than one quarter of our entire State bill? Why would we want to disturb that beehive?

So, why am I still optimistic about New Jersey? You might say that I see most things through the lens of a Real Estate Adviser. In spite of all the pessimistic news outlined above, the New Jersey Commercial Real Estate Market has never been better.

Our Industrial sector is on fire. We are at historic low vacancy and rents are growing steadily higher every month. It is hard to find space, and even harder to keep my head around the speed of the changing market.

While our State office infrastructure is rather old, the amount of new speculative investment dollars flowing into the system, in an effort to keep our inventory modern and relevant, is simply astounding. There has been a real effort to re-purpose our aging Class A office properties through green technology and open concept designs. The speed of the transformation is incredible.

While we are generally optimistic about the real estate market, there are many companies however, that see their profits being squeezed as they are struggling to deal with the pace of change and rising rents. For business owners who need help, we suggest they speak with a real estate Adviser about ways to create flexible leasing options. When life is moving fast, it is time to speak with an expert with his finger on the pulse of the change. At Dickstein Real Estate Services, “Our Difference Is Your Advantage®”.

Lawrence Dickstein

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