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As New Jersey moves on from the midterms, we all need to be reminded that for the 8th year in a row, New Jersey came in dead last in the Tax Foundation‘s rankings of state tax climates for businesses. That means that New Jersey has been dead last for every single year of Gov. Murphy’s five years in office. This makes sense, as Murphy chose to hike New Jersey’s already-high corporate and income taxes during his first term. So, as Murphy shifts his sights to a 2024 White House run, back in the real world, New Jersey’s economy remains uncompetitive and ill-prepared for the future.
How bad are New Jersey taxes? According to the Tax Foundation’s Janelle Fritts (per NJ101.5), “All across the board, New Jersey has very high rates compared to its neighbors and the country as a whole.” Here are the rankings:
- Corporate taxes: 48
- Individual (income) taxes: 48
- Sales taxes: 42
- Property taxes: 45
- Unemployment insurance taxes: 32
- Overall ranking: 50
Per Fritts, all the bottom states have “very complex tax codes and … very high rates, and New Jersey, of course, has both of those in almost every tax category.” There’s a reason why New Jersey’s jobs recovery from the pandemic has lagged the rest of the nation. Fewer businesses means fewer jobs.
Of note, the bottom nine states are all “blue” states with high taxes, big government and powerful public-sector unions: Rhode Island, Hawaii, Vermont, Minnesota, Maryland, Connecticut, California, New York and, last of all, New Jersey. Neighboring Delaware and Pennsylvania, with whom New Jersey competes for businesses, were ranked #16 and #33, respectively, and Pennsylvania just reduced their corporate taxes further.
Again, Fritts: “If New Jersey wants to remain competitive with the rest of the country, as a lot of states are actually bringing down their rates, New Jersey would need to bring down some rates to keep up with the competition.” But all Murphy can do is hand out small, narrow, temporary property tax rebates, which will do nothing to attract businesses and jobs to New Jersey.
Why would Murphy allow New Jersey’s economic competitiveness to wallow in last place? Why would he continue to abet the outmigration of businesses and people from our state? Because Murphy’s political supporters want high taxes, big government and powerful public-sector unions. In other words, New Jersey has served its purpose as a springboard for Murphy’s political ambitions for national office. He hopes to be long gone when the reckoning comes.
Never forget: New Jersey under Governor Murphy is run by and for the special interests.