Taxes, the Economy, and Outmigration
The NJEA’s political dominance has had negative effects on the state’s economy. At the local level, the NJEA has used its virtual political monopoly and collective bargaining powers to drive ever-higher education spending, resulting in New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes. When property taxpayers revolted, the NJEA then successfully pushed for state-level sales and income taxes, and has been behind every state tax increase since. The result is that New Jersey has the worst tax system for businesses in the nation. Consequently, New Jersey’s economy has underperformed both the nation and its neighboring states with whom it competes for businesses and jobs. Ominously, New Jersey’s high cost of living and underperforming economy have led to one of the largest out-migrations of citizens and wealth in America, putting additional pressure on state budgets. This downward economic spiral threatens the future of the state.