Not a good year for New Jersey taxes

From the Asbury Park Press:

New N.J. taxes top other states’ cuts

It was a good year for taxpayers in most states.

Awash in surplus money from an improving economy, 24 states cut taxes in 2006. Others increased the amount of money they spent on programs and boosted reserves to help the next time fiscal woes come calling.

New Jersey was not among them.

The Garden State increased sales, corporate, cigarette and other taxes by $1.84 billion, easily the largest total tax increase among states in 2006, according to a new report from the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers. The second-highest, Texas, increased cigarette and tobacco taxes by $431 million, the report found.

The ranking riled state Republicans, who are in the minority in New Jersey’s Legislature.

“New Jersey taxpayers are being bled dry,” said Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, R-Morris.

While 14 other states also increased taxes in 2006, New Jersey alone boosted taxes nearly as much as the entire country cut them. Overall, states cut taxes $2.1 billion in 2006, the report found.

The findings were no surprise to Gov. Corzine who, along with fellow Democratic leaders, approved the tax hikes to close a projected $4.5 billion budget deficit. The move wasn’t easy: The legislative dispute around it shut down state government for a week and caused Atlantic City’s casinos to close their doors briefly.

“We have not been managing the finances of the state in a way that is reflective of sound fiscal policy,” Corzine said in a recent interview.

With a projected $2 billion deficit looming for 2007, New Jersey lawmakers will continue trying to repair the state’s finances as other states enjoy what Raymond C. Scheppach, National Governors Association executive director, described as a “good time to be governor.”

“The stable, healthy fiscal condition of states across the nation affords current governors options their predecessors did not experience,” he said.

New Jersey in recent years has increased spending on, among other things, poor city schools, child welfare reforms, debt and homeland security. Meanwhile, the state skipped public worker pension payments and relied on moves such as raiding an unemployment compensation fund and borrowing billions to balance spending.

Now, the state struggles to pay for public schools, property tax cuts, health care, open space preservation and state college and university aid.

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5 Responses to Not a good year for New Jersey taxes

  1. pesche22 says:

    But its ok. We got needle exchange, and stem
    cell reseach. But no money to pay for it.

    In the meantime we increase taxes.

    Only in New Jersey , the Garden State.

  2. lowball says:

    Slowly becoming the Warden State – IMHO, average people don’t make a dent in the unaccountable, over-bloated and self-interested NJ state institutions (& affiliated cronyistic clientele/clique), as a last resort people are voting w/ their feet.
    (oh, looks like 72000 of them in 2006…)

  3. sally says:

    My daughter who graduates this spring {PA school} ,will be looking for a job ,I have tried to get her to move back to the shore which she loves but insist she will never be abel to afford it here .Over the hoildays we talked and she came out with this ..Dad people here don’t get it ,for anyone to stay in this state must be just as corrupt or very stupid .When asked which one was I ,she said I was very naive to ever think anything will ever change ….sad very sad

  4. sally says:

    Overall observation from a realist….
    > It is not just ‘rich’ people who are driving people out of new jersey , it is how a true ‘free market’ works. It
    > happens to elderly and middle class families too, but guess what – they have to
    > move and have little or no gov’t assistance for relocation, jobs, rent or
    > housing discounts, etc.. Look at towns all over the US where prices and taxes
    > increased as demand for housing increased and people are forced to move.
    > I can’t afford High price real estate and neither can most middle class
    > Americans, so why should being poor allow anyone those rights.
    > Let the economy determine rents, housing prices and everything else and keep
    > gov’t focused on the things they should be involved in.

  5. funnyhow says:

    ‘garden state’… HA… motto should be: “Gestappo State”

    Gestappo State Parkway

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