Senate Republican Conference Leader Ready To Fight For NJ Taxpayers

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday morning, New Jersey Senate Republican Conference Leader, Sen. Diane Allen (District 7) became the 8th member of the New Jersey Senate to sign the Americans for Tax Reform\’s (ATR) Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Pledge is a written commitment from a candidate or representative in any level of government to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes." Currently, President George W. Bush, 216 U.S. House members, 42 senators, eight governors and 1,200 state and local officials have signed the Pledge.

"Senator Allen\’s bold stroke of the pen today confirms that she will fight for the taxpayers of New Jersey," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR. "With Governor McGreevey consistently raising taxes on working families across the state, Allen\’s leadership today is a welcome sign to the state\’s taxpayers that McGreevey\’s proposed tax increases will not be tolerated."

According to a recent ATR analysis McGreevey has increased taxes in fiscal year 2004 by $620 million in addition to the $2.45 billion tax increase enacted in fiscal year 2003. As such, taxpayers will be paying $3.07 billion in higher taxes in FY \’04 than before McGreevey came to office, which is greater than 1 percent of the state\’s economy. Furthermore, the two years combined will lead to taxpayers being forced to pay a total of $5.5 billion in new taxes since McGreevey was elected governor.

The tax increases occurred despite the state being flushed with revenue. The State of New Jersey was expected to receive more than $1.7 billion of new tax revenue in fiscal year 2004 without raising taxes. The increase in revenue is coming from $561 million of federal aid as part of President Bush\’s tax cut, $630 million of revenue that was underestimated in the fiscal year 2003 budget, and $600 million of new revenue stemming from improved economic growth. Yet, McGreevey pushed ahead asking for more tax increases while failing to deliver property tax relief.

"There is absolutely no justification for raising taxes in the Garden State and after two years momentum is growing to stop McGreevey\’s agenda," continued Norquist. "Candidates opposed to McGreevey\’s tax and spend policies have absolutely no credibility on the tax issue without signing the tax pledge. These candidates should follow Allen\’s lead and promise to their constituents not to raise taxes."