TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie has pledged to change New Jersey’s reputation for high taxes. Judging by a report released Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation, the state has a long way to go.New Jersey residents were the highest-taxed in the country in 2009, giving 12.2 percent of their income to state and local taxes.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, NJ ranks 31st in total state and local taxes collected from our own revenues as a percentage of personal income.Deborah Howlett, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, a left-leaning think tank in Trenton, said the foundation’s ranking is flawed. "They have a clear agenda," said Howlett, a former communications director for Corzine. "It’s anti-tax and anti-government."For example, she said, New Jersey has high property taxes but one of the lowest gas taxes. She also pointed out that the ranking focuses on how much residents pay, not the state’s policies. So when New Jersey residents pay income taxes in New York because they work on Wall Street, the Tax Foundation still counts that against the Garden State even though it doesn’t set the rates or see any of the money. [emphasis mine]
According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel, NJ's rank in spending burden - the total state and local government spending as a share of total state personal income - is 40th.
We are a bedroom community. NY and PA take a lot of our citizens' money, and we have no say in the matter. That is a legitimate issue that should be addressed.
It has nothing, however, to do with our state's current tax policy. The T@x Foundation is simply feeding into Christie's garbage.
(Why do I call them the T@x Foundation? Click and see!)