(Alexandria, VA) -- Just minutes after Governor Jon Corzine announced that the state legislature had agreed to his $1.1 billion sales tax increase, Andrew Moylan, Government Affairs Manager of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), offered the following statement:
"Today marks another sad moment for New Jersey residents. After enduring over
$3 billion in tax and fee increases since 2002, Garden State residents are once
again being forced to pay up for Trenton's fiscal ineptitude.
Legislators, who once affirmed their opposition to the nation's largest sales tax
increase, caved in to special interest pressure at a time when taxpayers needed
them the most. Rather than take a principled stand on behalf of the state's hard-
working citizens, Trenton demonstrated that it still lacks the backbone to fight for
taxpayers. This helps to explain why, in 2004 alone, New Jersey had a net
migration loss of 60,000 people.
This budget 'compromise' was more akin to a gift for Governor Corzine and his
powerful special interest friends. The Governor received the most important piece
of his massive tax hike proposal. Despite this, legislators are promising to offset
part of the new 7 percent sales tax with property tax relief. Lawmakers promised
the same relief when New Jersey enacted an income tax years ago. With one of
the highest property tax burdens in the nation, Garden State homeowners are still
waiting for help.
The government shutdown might be over, but taxpayers are still on the hook for
back pay to furloughed workers, and what is now the highest state-level sales tax
rate in the nation. There is little to cheer today as lawmakers voted for political
expediency over the best interests of their constituents.
The average taxpayer will pay close to $300 more in taxes thanks to the budget
travesty that occurred in New Jersey today. Fortunately for them, they will be able
to return to the polls next November and show lawmakers just how much they
appreciate the new bill."
NTU is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen group working for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels. Note: For further information on NTU's work in New Jersey, visit www.ntu.org.