The Tax Foundation has come out with its annual review of business tax climates in the 50 states, and the news for NJ is not good. For the fifth straight year, NJ is dead last. Here are the major tax categories:
- Corporate: 49
- Income: 50
- Sales: 42
- Property: 47
Neighbors NY and PA – with whom NJ compares for businesses, jobs and people – came in 49th and 29th, respectively. But NY corporate taxes came in 13th, compared to NJ’s 49th.
The report’s author, Jared Walczak, captured NJ’s predicament: NJ’s persistently uncompetitive tax environment “can be dangerous because most of your peers are moving in another direction. The rest of the Mid-Atlantic is certainly not a low-tax region, but they have become more competitive. Even states like New York have overhauled their corporate tax codes … New Jersey is going in the opposite direction. There are costs to that … and New Jersey is just pushing the envelope of how far you can go in being an outlier in the country.” (as published in an nj101.5 article by Michael Symons).
This should be worrisome to any NJ citizen thinking about the future of the state. How will NJ ever meet its massive unfunded public-sector liabilities without a robust economy?
Yet, NJ is “pushing the envelope” by steadfastly remaining the worst tax system in the country. Why? Because these taxes feed our special-interest-dominated status quo. They feed the beast, and the beast is in control.
What does our special-interest-favoring governor have to say about this? If businesses and people are not locating in NJ because of its onerous taxes, “we’re probably not your state.” (also nj101.5).
In other words: “I don’t care.” Governor Murphy is tight with the special interests that dominate our state, and they are the big winners when it comes to high taxes. The rest of us, not so much.
Whose side on you on, governor?