For Immediate Release – May 2, 2013
AFP Targets NJ’s Onerous Tax Burden at Tax Freedom Day Press Conference
Pro-Taxpayer Group Says State Must Cut Taxes, Spending to Restore Economic Prosperity
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TRENTON, NJ – The state’s suffocating tax burden is making the state less competitive, diminishing the quality of life for New Jersey residents and making it harder for New Jerseyans to prosper. That was the message today from Americans for Prosperity at a joint press conference held today in Trenton by AFP and the DC-based Tax Foundation to mark Tax Freedom Day. Tax Freedom Day represents when the average taxpayer has paid his/her entire federal, state and local tax bill for the year.
Tax Freedom Day does not arrive in New Jersey until Saturday, May 4, several days later than in 2012 and the third latest date of any state in the country. New Jersey also lags well behind the national Tax Freedom Day which occurs on April 18. In 2012, national Tax Freedom Day arrived on April 13, five days earlier.
“The fiscal cliff deal that raised income taxes for Americans; the expiration of the payroll tax holiday; ObamaCare and its investment taxes and excise taxes, such as the medical excise tax which is supposed to reduce employment by 45,000 jobs in the nation” were the main causes of the later national date according to Kyle Pomereau, economist for the Tax Foundation’s Center for Federal Tax Policy.
“[Americans] will be paying more in taxes than we pay for food, clothing and housing combined,” added Pomereau.
New Jersey’s state and local tax burden is a major reason why Tax Freedom Day occurs so late in New Jersey. Elizabeth Malm, economist with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation, said New Jersey’s state and local burden accounts for 12.4% of New Jerseyans’ total tax bill and is driven by “prohibitively high” income and corporate taxes, as well as high property taxes and a high sales tax.
In order to spur job and economic growth, “One of the things New Jersey could do would be flatten its individual income tax, make it less graduated, make it more neutral across all income levels,” said Malm. “It could also lower the top rate on both individual and corporate income taxes, and it could address the growing property tax problem.”
Speaking on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, Senior Fellow Steve Lonegan took aim at the state’s punitive tax climate, stating, “We watch our quality of life diminishing. We have the highest outward bound migration numbers in the country. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, the highest in the northeast. We have the worst GDP in the northeast. All [of this is] the result of tax policies that have taken away our freedom and our ability to grow our economy. Our position is eliminate these taxes, give us back our freedom and we’ll create real jobs.”
“New Jersey should be a model for other states of what not to do,” concluded Lonegan.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 2 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFP has 34 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.