Since 2002, the Garden State has raised taxes on each resident by $2,601 – the highest nationally. The combined $22 billion in tax hikes has also resulted in a mass exodus of residents. Over 330,000 people left New Jersey since 1997 and over two-thirds of them left since 2002. Two of the top destinations for New Jersey exiles: Pennsylvania and Florida, with income tax rates of 3.07% and 0% respectively.
New Jersey taxpayers already spend 211 days a year working just to cover the cost of government – the second highest burden nationally. New Jersey also has the highest state and local tax burden, the second highest business tax burden, and collects more property taxes per capita than any other state.
But apparently, Governor Jon Corzine’s plans to turn New Jersey into a depopulated ghost town are occurring just too slowly. So, last week he announced a plan to further drive residents out of the Garden State and simultaneously rectify his $7 billion overspending problem: an executive budget with $1 billion in new tax increases. The Governor’s newly released budget increases the New Jersey income tax to the 3rd highest nationally, eliminates most property tax deductions, extends a 4% tax surcharge on businesses, raises the tax on alcohol beverages by 25%, and hikes the tax on cigarettes to $2.70 per pack.
Below is ATR’s press release condemning Gov. Corzine’s budget or click here
for a PDF version.
Gov. Corzine Calls for Billion-Dollar Tax Increase
New Jersey Governor Punishes Taxpayers for Own Fiscal Incompetence
Americans for Tax Reform today condemned New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s plans to impose $1 billion in tax hikes on New Jersey residents. To rectify $7 billion in overspending, Gov. Corzine’s newly released budget increases the New Jersey income tax to the 3rd highest nationally, eliminates most property tax deductions, and extends a 4% tax surcharge on businesses. The budget also includes a 25% tax increase on alcohol beverages and raises the tax on cigarettes by 12.5-cents to $2.70 per pack.
New Jersey has overwhelmingly led all states in tax increases. The Garden State government has increased taxes on each resident by $2,601 since 2002, for a total of over $22 billion in tax hikes – the highest nationally. According to the Center for Fiscal Accountability, New Jersey taxpayers spend 211 days a year working just to cover the cost of government – the second highest burden nationally. New Jersey also has the highest state and local tax burden, the second highest business tax burden, and collects more property taxes per capita than any other state. After factoring in inflation, government expenditures have increased 47.5% since 1998.
“New Jersey taxpayers are groaning under the oppressive weight of not just big – but colossal government,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “There is one thing all economists can agree upon: the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes. Yet Gov. Corzine wants to do just that. After a spending binge that would put a drunken sailor to shame, he wants New Jersey taxpayers to suffer the fiscal hangover and foot the bill! In fact, Gov. Corzine already tried raising the cigarette tax in 2007. The result? New Jersey lost $24 million in total revenue as smokers bought cigarettes across state lines. Governor Corzine can not keep hoodwinking the taxpayers of New Jersey with the failed policies of the past.”
The State of New Jersey has had a net population decline every year for the past 10 years. According to the IRS, the Garden State has had a net loss of 335,339 people since 1997 – one of the highest state population outflows in the country. In total, residents who fled took with them $12.9 billion in income and wealth. Two of the most popular destinations for residents who left were Pennsylvania and Florida, which have income tax rates of 3.07% and 0% respectively.
“Garden State taxpayers are already voting with their feet by fleeing Gov. Corzine’s oppressive regime to low tax states,” added Norquist. “If passed, Gov. Corzine’s budget plan will turn the exodus of tax-refugees into a flood. This plan will not only hurt New Jersey taxpayers, destroy jobs, and cause businesses to relocate across state lines – it will turn New Jersey into a depopulated ghost town. New Jersey taxpayers can no longer pay the price for Gov. Corzine’s exorbitant spending.”