Poll: The high-tax, gov’t union model at work
A new poll finds that half of all New Jersey residents say they plan to leave the state, compared to just 45 percent who want to stay. The desire to leave is particularly strong among working age people, reflecting the state’s more than 10 years of economic struggles. Some three-in-ten who say they want to leave specifically blame the state’s high taxes for their desire to leave, while 12 percent blame a lack of economic opportunity. Business executives around the country who rate Jersey as one of the nation’s worst business environments would tell you that, too, is largely a function of high taxes.
This is the seventh straight year that the Monmouth University poll has found about half of residents want to leave NJ. “The state’s high cost of living is the driving factor, and the chief culprit among these costs is the New Jersey’s property tax burden,” the director of the poll said. Back in 2010 (the most recent study) the Tax Foundation ranked the state’s average property tax burden the highest in the nation. The state also boasts the 7th highest income tax burden.
Earlier this year NJ State Senate President Steve Sweeney proposed $1.6 billion in new taxes to pay for severely underfunded government pensions. That certainly won’t help keep people or jobs in the state.
A poll released in May by Chief Executive magazine of CEOs nationwide ranked Jersey the fourth worst state in the country for doing business. “Gov. Christie has helped but legislature did end run for higher minimum wage,” said one executive in the poll. Another added: ‘New Jersey will continue to lose businesses unless they find a way to alleviate the punitive taxes on businesses and personal homes.”
Several years ago, when he was more of a reformer, Sen. Sweeney said that ““New Jersey has a government that we can’t afford any longer.” As the tax numbers suggest, that hasn’t changed much as the state struggles to dig itself out of debt, including huge pension debts accumulated over 20 years.
NJ recently ranked number one in outmigration according to a study by Allied Van Lines of places people are leaving. Below are the top three states people are leaving and their degree of public sector unionization compared to the national average. Not that there’s any connection, of course, between government unions, the cost of government and taxes.