(Alexandria, VA) -- The anti-tax movement continues to gain steam in New Jersey as over 3,000 taxpayers have signed a petition or contacted their legislators by using a new website at www.stopthetaxman.org. The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which has 14,000 members in New Jersey and 350,000 members nationwide, organized the petition drive to build grassroots opposition to Governor Corzine's $1.5 billion tax hike.
The petition, which was presented to New Jersey's leaders this week, urges Governor Corzine and members of the state legislature to reject any increases in state taxes, reduce wasteful spending, and demand better management of the estimated $30 billion that will flow into Trenton this year. To date, the citizen-powered movement has stalled Corzine's plan and some legislators are mentioning budget cuts to stave off potential tax increases.
Citizens signed the petition by visiting the website www.stopthetaxman.org, which includes breaking news on the Governor's budget, a blog specifically catered to New Jersey's fiscal health, and an "action center" to contact elected officials. The site also links to a new study by NTU's research arm on the consequences of the tax-and-spend policies of Corzine and his predecessors in both parties. The analysis determined that if New Jersey government spending had been held to population growth plus inflation over the last ten years, the state's budget including federal aid would be approximately $42 billion, or about $8 billion less than the one Corzine submitted.
"With a July 1 budget deadline, taxpayers are making their voices heard in Trenton," said NTU Policy Analyst and Deputy Press Secretary Sam Batkins, who has examined New Jersey's finances in-depth. "Politicians have picked taxpayers' pockets for more money every year since 2001, and this petition demonstrates one way citizens are fighting back to hold their elected leaders accountable."
Recent data released by the National Association of State Budget Officers revealed that Governor Corzine's tax plan is the largest hike in the nation. In fact, the Governor's plan accounts for about 42 percent of all proposed tax increases nationwide. Though Trenton has raised taxes by over $3 billion since FY 2002, the state still has a $4.5 billion budget gap.
"The last time Trenton hiked sales taxes, many lawmakers faced voter wrath at the polls," concluded Batkins. "Now it's up to elected officials to heed the clear warning sent today by taxpayers, or risk the chance that history will repeat itself next November."
NTU is a non-profit organization that works for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels. Note: For further information on NTU's work in New Jersey, visit www.stopthetaxman.org. For details on other NTU initiatives, visit www.ntu.org.