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In chamber speech, Booker says U.S. tax code must be 'fairer and more predictable'

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Booker fielding questions from reporters following the AACCNJ conference
Booker fielding questions from reporters following the AACCNJ conference - (Andrew George / NJBIZ)

Speaking at a conference in Newark this morning held by the African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker called for corporate tax reform, adding that the current code needs to be “fairer and more predictable.”

Booker, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant following the death of Frank Lautenberg, proposes lowering the corporate tax rate to 28 percent. He said currently, a combination of high rates, misplaced incentives and special-interest loopholes have hurt the United States in its quest to stay competitive globally.

Booker also called for penalties to businesses that "move jobs overseas" and singled out big oil companies, noting that it is time to end tax breaks for companies that don't really need them.

Sounding much like a candidate, Booker blamed instability in Washington for sending out unclear messages on the future of tax credits and not giving investors the "certainty they need to invest in America."

"You can't build a company with that kind of unpredictability," Booker said.

In addition to calling for investment into infrastructure and education, Booker also made his case for stronger incentives for manufacturing, research and development fields, and small businesses.

Booker pointed to Newark as a successful model for growth across various sectors. He said the city today possesses a "reality where now one of the most commonly seen birds in Newark is the crane."

"You can show right here in Newark that islands of excellence are possible anywhere," Booker said.

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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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