By Senator Joe Kyrillos
Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.
Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.
Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.
Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.
As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.
It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.
The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”admin | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: Going Away Tax, Joe Kyrillos, Millionaires tax | 9 Comments »
Gov. Chris Christie vowing to veto any tax increase, Democratic legislative leaders looking for pension-funding solutions may conclude that their best option is to bypass Christie by putting a millionaire’s tax on the ballot as a constitutional amendment…
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Governor Christie: I have made the decision that we are not going to blindside our students, we are not going to blindside our seniors, our higher education institutions or those who rely on the safety net the state provides to balance the budget with only six weeks left in the fiscal year. So you have to make choices and we are making them. We’re choosing to be responsible in terms of the way we fund these critical priorities that matter to the people of the state. And we are choosing not put at risk those programs that I mentioned and those services that the people of the state rely upon, especially on such extraordinarily short notice. I’d love to give people tax relief. I’d love to also be able to fund programs that are priorities and that matter a great deal to me and to the people of this state. But until we decide to be adults and deal with the problem we know we have we’re not going to be able to do that. And so today I’m doing what I need to do to fulfill my constitutional obligation to balance a budget. Today I’m going to pledge to make the payments that we need to make to not dig the hole any deeper. But in a time when we’re confronted with this type of challenge I cannot also pay for all the sins of my predecessors, and so we’re going to do this now. We’re going to continue to try to get better as we move forward but you’re going to continue to hear from me and you will hear from me soon with specifics on the way we need to change the pension and the health benefit system. I’ve been saying over the course of the last number of months that come Fiscal Year ’16 New Jersey is going to be paying more for health benefit costs for retirees than we pay for active employees. If there is any greater symbol for how untenable the system has become I don’t know what it is. And so we need to deal with this problem and we need to deal with it directly. I will fix the problems that have been foist upon us today. But I’m going to need cooperation from the Legislature and elected officials across the state to deal with this problem going forward.
Posted: May 20th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget, Pensions | Tags: Chris Christie, Governor Chris Christie, NJ State Budget, Pension reform | Comments Off
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