NJ.com: Tax Foundation: N.J. is suing over the SALT cap to enable tax avoidance, help high earners

In an op-ed published on NJ.com, Jared Walczak, the director of state policy at the Tax Foundation, takes apart the latest lawsuit filed by high tax states against the IRS on the SALT deduction cap:

“…this lawsuit may be more about posturing than law. It’s about supposedly progressive states trying to shield their high earners from the consequence of their own state tax laws, or at least about looking like they’re trying to do so. It’s a stunt in service to a shell game. Your tax dollars at work.”

NJBiz.com: Garden State Initiative projects $2B savings in roads and bridges

NJBiz.com reports on GSI’s release of our latest Adding It All Up report focused on achieving savings in New Jersey’s infrastructure investments:

“In the report, GSI identifies three cost savings recommendations for the state: de-layering and consolidation of services; private public partnerships; and modernizing project planning, budgeting and scoring.”

ROI-NJ: GSI analysis: Big gap in benefit cost in public, private sectors in N.J.

On ROI-NJ.com, Emily Bader reports on GSI’s analysis of the gap between public and private sector benefit costs in the US and in New Jersey:

Garden State Initiative on Thursday analyzed the latest employee compensation data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found major differences in compensation costs between the public and private sectors.

In particular, GSI said government costs for pensions and medical benefits far exceeded the private sector, especially when looking at how New Jersey spends. The analysis said there’s a 50% differential in cost between the state and the rest of the U.S.”

APP.com: More fiscal clouds looming in N.J.

The editorial board of the Asbury Park Press takes Governor Phil Murphy to task for allowing the arbitration cap for uniformed services to expire and sees it as an example of his indifference to taxpayers and the state’s looming fiscal crisis:

“…Murphy not only has failed to provide significant tax relief, he has done nothing to address the state’s structural financial problems, made worse by his refusal to do what is necessary to rein in public employee pension and health benefits costs. We are one recession away from a fiscal disaster.”

Wall Street Journal: No Millionaire’s Tax in New Jersey

In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal credits New Jersey’s legislative leaders, specifically Senate President Steve Sweeney, for resisting Governor Phil Murphy’s calls for a extended “millionaire’s tax”. The Journal’s editorial board wrote:

“For a second time, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a state budget without the “millionaire’s tax” he has been pitching since his 2017 election. Weary New Jerseyites can’t yet breathe a sigh of relief. But their Legislature—unlike in Illinois or Connecticut—seems to realize that it’s possible to run out of other people’s money.“

NJ Spotlight: FISCAL 2021 BUDGET COULD BE A BEAR IF MURPHY, SWEENEY STICK TO THEIR GUNS

With the Fiscal Year 2020 state budget barely in the rear-view mirror, NJ Spotlight’s John Reitmeyer takes a look at the lingering issues that will impact the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, including some ominous numbers regarding the state’s public employee pension payment obligations:

“High on the list of rising costs will be another big increase in funding for the public-worker pension system. A record $3.8 billion contribution was just written into the fiscal year 2020 budget.

The contribution for the FY2021 budget is scheduled to be around $4.5 billion, and at the moment there’s no plan in place to cover that hefty increase.”

NJ Spotlight: NJ’S MINIMUM WAGES RISES TO $10 TODAY IN FIRST STEP TOWARD $15

On July 1st, New Jersey’s minimum wage rose to $10 per hour, part of the state’s incremental increase to $15 per hour. NJ Spotlight’s Colleen O’Dea, included GSI’s president Regina Egea’s analysis in her report:

“For many who operate on narrow profit margins, the employer has two realistic options: reduce staff hours and headcount, or raise prices,” she (Egea) said. “We will be watching with interest the state’s employment reports in coming months to analyze the jobs numbers in the industries that employ minimum wage workers, like retail, for example.”

ROI-NJ: Murphy signs $38B budget, but line-item vetoes $48.5M from Legislature’s document

In an ROI-NJ’ report, Anjalee Khemlani includes GSI’s president Regina Egea’s comments in a report on Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of the state’s FY2020 budget:

Garden State Initiative President Regina Egea applauded the bipartisanship of the budget — avoiding a shutdown of state government.

“For the first time in recent memory, widespread and bipartisan agreement that our state taxes too much determined the content of our state budget,” she said.

“Approving a budget without tax increases with yet higher spending represents a meaningful step, but leaves unfinished business in order to restore our state as a place where both parents and their children can afford to live. This incremental success must spur more bipartisan action this year to address our state’s addiction to spending. A budget that held the line on taxes in 2020 should serve as an impetus to build a 2021 budget that actually reduces spending and passes on savings to taxpayers.””

NJ.com: N.J. Democrats scrap Murphy’s millionaires tax in budget, setting up showdown and possible shutdown

Legislative leaders plan to introduce a budget proposal that omits every tax increase the Governor Murphy has been seeking according to a report on NJ.com from statehouse reporters Samantha Marcus and Brent Johnson. Specifically, the plan rejects Murphy’s so-called “Millionaire’s Tax” and “Corporate Responsibility Tax” along with an increase to fees on gun permits and the tax on ammunition.

Bloomberg: Florida Is the Big Winner as the Wealthy Move Out of Northern States

As Governor Phil Murphy aggressively lobby’s for another tax increase, this time an expansion of the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax”, a new analysis by Bloomberg News found that the Garden State is among the top 3 states in outmigration of wealth. Last year, New Jersey saw a net exodus of $3.4 billion in wealth, ranking only behind fellow high-tax states, New York and Illinois.

NJ Spotlight: New Jersey Gets Lowest Rating Among States for Recession Preparedness

A new report from Moody’s finds that New Jersey is one of 2 states, the other being Illinois, ill-prepared financially for a future recession citing pension liabilities and budget reserves. John Reitmeyer of NJ Spotlight writes on the policy implications for New Jersey as the state enters the pivotal stage of budget negotiations for FY 2020.

ROI-NJ: N.J. set income tax revenue record in April, treasurer tells Legislature

GSI’s president Regina M. Egea was quoted by ROI-NJ’s Anjalee Khemlani in a report on the State Treasurer’s April revenue report:

“New Jersey has an opportunity to get on the more competitive track by limiting government spending and investing in what grows our economy not grows our government burden even further. Record revenue collections should not present an opportunity to look for more tax increases, but rather an opportunity to get our state back on the road to prosperity.”

Press of Atlantic City: New Jersey’s next budget needs to face its fiscal reality

As the state legislature and Governor Murphy work towards enacting a state budget by a June 30th deadline, the editorial board of the Press of Atlantic City calls for an agreement that reflects the perilous reality of the state’s fiscal health:

“New Jersey’s financial problems demand solutions, and these are reasonable given the hole the state is in. Credit-rating agency S&P Global says the state has the second worst pension funding ratio in the nation and is dead last in making progress toward funding even the bare minimum of its growing pension costs.

Gov. Murphy’s approach would dodge the fiscal bullet and increase spending further beyond what’s sustainable. That’s just digging the hole deeper.

Sweeney and the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup want state government to face reality and start regaining the strength to serve the interests of the public. Sooner or later that must happen, and since later is just more painful, starting with the new budget is in everyone’s interest.”

NY Post.com: Blue States Are Still Drowning In Debt

In an opinion piece published in the New York Post, Steven Malanga of the Manhattan Institute writes on how “blue states” are continuing to sink in red ink even as the national economy is booming:

“…states face big obstacles to continued recovery. Short of cash, many states spent more than they took in for years, piling up debt or using financial gimmicks to paper over deficits. One recent study found that, stretching back to before the Great Recession, 10 states have consistently spent more than they collected — including New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York.”

APP.com: Most CPAs telling clients to relocate out of NJ: Thomas

In a sobering op-ed in the Asbury Park Press, Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, writes on the advice his members are giving the state’s residents and businesses:

“…a recent NJCPA member survey found that 75 percent of CPAs have advised some clients to relocate their homes or businesses out of New Jersey in order to reduce their tax burden.

New Jersey must break its destructive tax-and-spend habit by addressing the structural imbalances in its budget in order to put the state on sounder financial footing.”

NJ.com: This is why I’m leaving New Jersey

In a riveting opinion piece published on NJ.com, North Plainfield resident Philip Perinelli makes a statement that thousands of longtime Garden State residents are saying each year: This is why I’m leaving New Jersey.

“…the bitterness would stay with me and increase year after year, as I watch my taxes inexorably increase and my quality of life move in the opposite direction.”

Politico: Poll: New Jerseyans say they’re overtaxed, state not doing enough to ease burden

Ryan Hutchins, Trenton Bureau Chief for Politico New Jersey, reviews the latest Rutgers-Eagleton poll, conducted in collaboration with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), which finds growing discontent among New Jersey residents with affordability issues and the high level of taxation in the Garden State:

“When it comes to residents’ overwhelming frustration with taxes and other financial issues in the state, little has changed in the past year-and-a-half,” Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, said in a statement that accompanied the poll results. “New Jerseyans across the board — Democrats and Republicans alike — continue to be upset with what it costs to live in this state, what the government is doing about it, and with the idea of any new taxes.”