New Jersey’s Tax Quagmire Continues

July 6, 2006

As New Jersey lawmakers continue to struggle with their budget impasse, this morning’s Wall Street Journal takes a provocative look at the Garden State’s overall tax climate. From the piece:

The New Jersey budget meltdown is finally hitting essential government services: Atlantic City’s casinos…

The gambling shutdown will cost the state some $1.3 million a day in lost taxes, but Governor Jon Corzine and the Democrats who run the legislature still won’t end their showdown at the spendthrift corral, also known as Trenton. The legislators are convinced that Mr. Corzine is leading them down a path to political ruin by insisting on raising the state sales tax to 7% from an already high 6%, and they’re probably right…

The sales tax would cost the average New Jersey family about $275 a year — which is a few seconds of interest income for Governor Corzine, a mega-millionaire from his days at Goldman Sachs…

The legislators may also be worried that voters could soon figure out that New Jersey is already one of the most heavily taxed states in the nation. The nearby table has the lowlights. (By the way, the 50th state in business friendliness is New York. Is it something in the Hudson River?)

Read the full piece here. For our own summary of New Jersey’s tax climate, check out the New Jersey section of our website here.

(Update: Note that while the Wall Street Journal table above reports that New Jersey’s state and local taxes were 4th highest in the nation, this relies on tax collections data from the Census Bureau rather than tax burdens, such as those calculated by the Tax Foundation (See here for the difference between the two.) Tax collections report how much tax governments receive, while tax burdens instead focus on how much tax taxpayers actually pay, regardless of which government receives it. According to our calculations, New Jersey’s state and local tax burden ranks 17th highest nationally.)


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