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AFP-NJ: Letter of Opposition to S-1516 / A-2703

Feb 12, 2018 by AFP

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dear Senator / Assembly Member:

On behalf of Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s largest free market grassroots organization with over three million activists across the country, and our 137,000 activists in the state of New Jersey, I respectfully urge you to safeguard the financial future of New Jersey by opposing S-1516 / A-2703, which would add a new and unnecessary burden on our taxpayers at a time when we simply can’t afford to raise taxes any higher.

First of all, New Jersey already has the highest tax rates in the nation, and creating a costly new “millionaire tax” is not the solution to our funding woes. If policymakers can’t pay the bills even with the incredibly aggressive tax rates currently in place, maybe the problem isn’t that we’re not taxing enough. Instead, we should focus on improving public finances in the state through prudent reforms to spending and local governments, which have long been a driving force behind our increasingly burdensome and complex tax system.

Second, now that Congress has passed reforms to the state and local tax deduction (SALT), high-tax states like ours will no longer be able to raise taxes so high without serious consequences for local residents. According to the Tax Foundation, a rethink is in order:

[New Jersey] has the worst state business tax climate of the 50 states and the third highest overall state and local tax burden (behind only Connecticut and New York). Any New Jersey resident knows they pay the highest property taxes in the country, but other taxes are also high: income taxes (5th highest top rate), corporate taxes (6th highest in collections), sales taxes (16th highest in collections), cigarette taxes (10th highest), and gas taxes (8th highest) are all high … The state has more outbound net migration than any other.”

New Jersey has the highest rate of out-migration of any state in the union. A millionaire tax would exacerbate this already terrible problem and push out even more of our most productive taxpayers, shrinking the tax base to bear the load of an ever-increasingly costly government. Now is not the time to add costly new burdens to our tax code. For years, SALT has subsidized the tax and spend policies of our state government, but no longer. We cannot afford to pass S-1516 / A-2703.

Sincerely,

Erica L. Jedynak

New Jersey State Director

Americans for Prosperity