New Jersey Democrats Squabbling Their Way To Higher Taxes
Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) says Democrats are opposed to increasing the sales tax for fear it might anger voters and because “increasing the tax would lessen property tax reform options”.
That’s what the Democrats are “squabbling“ about - which taxes can they raise and what else can they begin taxing to increase state spending by 9.2%. And as Roberts has made clear, the Democrats' idea of property tax reform is jacking up state taxes to temporarily reduce property taxes.
New Jersey imposed an income tax in 1976 under the guise of property tax reform. How’d that work out for you? You’ll contribute your share of the $11.6 billion for state income taxes next year and pay the highest property taxes in the nation.
The amount you pay in combined state and local taxes can never be reduced until government becomes more efficient and spends less. Paul at NJ Fiscal Folly found this link to the NJ State Government Workforce Profile, which includes current and historical headcounts for state and local government. As shown in the report, the increase in government workers far exceeds the increase in the state’s population. Which means government is becoming less productive and more costly with each passing year.
Corzine said he “doesn't like to talk about these negotiations in public, but has decided to do so now because the state risks bankruptcy if it doesn't change course soon”. "We're setting ourselves up for the kind of crisis New York City had in the 1970s," he says.
Corzine’s right about the prognosis for the state’s future if we don’t change. Only he has failed to take the actions necessary to reduce costs and make the state run more efficiently. He’d rather increase spending and taxes this year and put everyone through the same crisis and hand wringing next year.