"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Why Is New Jersey A Financial Mess?

Why is New Jersey State government a financial mess? Why are state spending and taxes always on the rise? Why is New Jersey less affordable with each passing year?

Since 2002, the number of state government workers has grown 10 times faster than New Jersey’s population. The state’s per capita income has grown by 11 percent, from $39,453 to $43,771, while New Jersey state spending and taxes have increased by 35 percent. State debt has increased 214 percent. (See details below)

The state’s public workforce has grown less efficient, even as New Jersey invested millions in technology to improve productivity. Would any business hire 20 percent more workers to support less than 2 percent more customers? State spending is outpacing the income gains of its citizens and its businesses. State taxes are eating up a larger percentage of the public’s income every year.

This is why New Jersey has become less affordable, more heavily taxed and a financial basket case. And contrary to political rhetoric, federal funding to New Jersey has not been cut or reduced exacerbating the state’s budget woes. Overall, federal funding to the state has increased 29 percent, from $6,458,560,000 in 2002 to $8,348,666,000 in 2006. Federal funding for New Jersey public schools has increased 46 percent, from $571,918,000 in 2002 to $835,799,000 in 2006.

NJ Population Growth

New Jersey’s population has grown from 8,576,089 in 2002 to 8,735,361 in 2006. The increase in the state’s population has been less than 2 percent.

NJ State Employee Growth

The number of full-time workers employed by the state of New Jersey in the executive branch has increased from 67,213 in 2002 to 80,800 as of May 2006. The number of executive branch workers has increased by 20.2 percent since 2002, as compared to growth in the state’s population of less than 2 percent.

The total number of New Jersey State employees is 152,000. This figure includes employees with various state authorities, hospitals and state colleges, who are not considered executive branch workers.

NJ State Budget Growth

New Jersey’s state budget has increased from $22.9 billion in 2002 to $30.9 billion with adoption of Governor Jon Corzine’s budget for 2007. State spending has increased $8 billion, as have state taxes and fees to pay for the increased spending. That’s a 35 percent increase since 2002.

NJ State Debt

New Jersey State debt has increased from $17.8 billion in 2002 to $38.2 billion as of June 2006. State debt has increased $20.4 billion dollars since 2002, 214 percent.


At 7:42 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Your analysis and coverage of the NJ political scene is simply the best.

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

What Eric said.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous KevinM said...

Excellent analysis of the situation. Too much spending. The big question is where the spending and new state government employees are going and what as taxpayers are we getting for our money?

In the past year, my income has been flat, my property taxes went up by 46%, my sales tax went up by 16.7%, and other state related taxes went up by double digits. I can't afford to stay in NJ. That is one reason the population of the state has only increased by 2% which is relatively low. There has been an outflow of higher earning taxpayers because of the corruption and mishandling of tax dollars in Trenton.

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

And, businesses are running away too. I've lived in this state for almost six decades, and it's sad to watch it die before my eyes.

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read 'The Soprano State'. its a real eye opener. Unfortunately few people in NJ really care and the rest are too stupid to do anything. New Jersey will ALWAYS be this way. Also, they'll keep electing Democrats to the Governor's office.

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

new jersey should be the first state to make all schools archieticure be the same. like a modular home but you built it once someware in the state and it is working, why don"t we build it in another town. I bet it would save about 3 or 4 million off the price of each school.its not the high price of union workers. its the architecs who have open expense books. im a union tradesman working on a school renovation i orange new jersey. a shameless waste of our and my tax dollars these shit heads should be invsstigated and arrested

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the largest portion of your homeowners tax bill?...school tax. Let's face it, there are far too many school districts with their own administrations (aka: 100K plus salaries) and far too much bloated local and county government. Consolidating local governments and regionalizing school districts is something that Corzine touched on briefly, but never pursued. As a democrat, it would not have been politically advantageous for him to do that, although in hindsight, he lost the election anyway, so he could have gotten the ball rolling on all of that. That is where the real savings is.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somone the nail on the head. Try more like $150,000 per school administrator, plus support staff. And each wants to build their "legacy" at their school district. Make school administrators move into their district and pay local taxes for a while then see how much they want to spend.

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