In a Star-Ledger op-ed, Regina Egea of the Garden State Initiative (GSI) is absolutely correct that New Jersey’s economic reality does not match Governor Murphy’s happy talk. SPCNJ is coming out with a new research report that details the long-term underperformance of New Jersey’s economy (in terms of personal income, state GDP and job growth) versus the nation and our two neighbors NY and PA with whom we compete for businesses, jobs and people.
Given New Jersey’s dire unfunded retiree liabilities, we need a strong and growing economy so that our tax revenues can meet these challenges. But due to the economic strangulation caused by New Jersey’s very high individual tax burden and our worst-in-the-nation tax environment for businesses, our tax revenues severely lag other states, as Egea notes (citing Pew research).
More ominously, New Jersey’s high taxes and poor business environment have resulted in one of the greatest outmigrations of citizens and wealth to other states. This results in a “downward spiral” whereby outmigration leads to tax revenue shortfalls, which then lead to calls for still higher taxes, which leads to more outmigration. New Jersey must beware of this downward spiral.
Please stay tuned for SPCNJ’s coming report New Jerseys’s taxes, economy and outmigration, which will be based entirely on facts and hard data. As Egea says, the facts don’t lie.
See GSI’s full Star-Ledger op-ed here.