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Nation's Largest Taxpayer Group Condemns Tax Hikes in Corzine's Budget, Predicts Worse Recession for State

by Pete Sepp / /

(Alexandria, Va.) -- The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has urged lawmakers in New Jersey to reject the tax increases in Gov. Jon Corzine's FY 2010 budget. Advocating on behalf of its 10,000-plus members in the state, NTU argued that New Jersey's tax climate is one of the worst in the country as is, and putting further expansion of government on the backs of taxpayers will only worsen the recession in the Garden State.

"Gov. Corzine is punishing taxpayers for a problem he helped cause," NTU State Government Affairs Manager Joshua Culling said. "Rather than coming to terms with the consequences of big government, he seeks to continue the tax-and-spend policies that got New Jersey in the economic mess it's in. Conspicuous among them is that staple of dishonest budgeting -- temporary tax hikes."

The budget aims to "temporarily" raise the top personal income tax rate to 9.75 percent for a year, making it the third-highest in the country. It would also hike the cigarette tax, already the nation's second-highest, another 12.5 cents per pack. A 4 percent "temporary" corporate business tax surcharge would be extended, and the excise tax on alcohol (excluding beer) would be increased 25 percent.

"Even though New Jersey is receiving $17.5 billion in stimulus funds from Washington and has already exported its massive cost of government to federal taxpayers across the country, Gov. Corzine is still intent on a slew of tax hikes," Culling continued. "It's as if he's actively pushing residents out of the state."

NTU urged lawmakers to reject all tax increases in the budget, and ignore the "temporary" label on the income tax hike. "Once a politician gets his hands on a new source of revenue, there's no taking it back," Culling concluded. "This budget represents a devastating and permanent tax hike on New Jersey citizens."

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information, visit www.ntu.org.

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