Study: New Jersey Ranks Low in Providing Value to Taxpayers - Garden State Initiative

Study: New Jersey Ranks Low in Providing Value to Taxpayers

Governor Murphy, Public Spending, Uncategorized, GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

Study: New Jersey Ranks Low in Providing Value to Taxpayers

William J. Smith, GSI Staff   |   March 27, 2023


In defending New Jersey’s high taxes, Gov. Phil Murphy has often cited a “value proposition” of what state residents are receiving in return for their taxes, which rank among the highest in the nation. A new study challenges that assertion finding that despite being among the highest taxed states, the Garden State ranked in the middle of the pack, just 32nd out of 50 states for ROI (return on investment) on their state and local tax dollars.

The study from the personal finance site WalletHub, 2023’s States with the Best & Worst Taxpayer ROI asks the question of what return on investment are taxpayers getting from their state and local taxes.

Drawing on data from several independent sources, the report begins with each state’s overall tax burden and factors in measures of the quality of public services in areas such as education, health, safety, environment and infrastructure.

While the study placed the ROI on New Jersey’s famed public schools among the top in the U.S. at #7 and our public safety at #3, some rankings for public services were nothing to brag about, with the return on investment for our infrastructure and levels of pollution, ranking dead last, despite a high gas tax and ever-increasing tolls.

Source: WalletHub

While the WalletHub study ranked the quality of public services in New Jersey at 14th in the U.S., the excessive taxes paid by Garden State residents to fund those services were responsible for the lower overall rating for ROI.

The states delivering the best value to taxpayers for public services were New Hampshire, Florida, Alaska, South Dakota and Texas, most considered to be among the lowest tax states.

Those with the best overall scores for providing highest quality public services were Virginia, Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

The next time a government official tells you that their budget needs to be increased, a good response would be to ask them how they plan to improve the return on investment for the tax dollars they receive. Their response will speak volumes.