New Jersey Taxes, Lord Layard watches
Actually, I don’t really know if the lord’s actually watching, but it rhymes, so it will do for a heading. Lord Layard‘s the misunderstood genius that thinks much higher income tax rates will make people happier. O that he lived in NJ! His property taxes alone would bring tears of joy.
Ken Adams of SmadaNek‘s got the state budget numbers: the $120,800,000 of new spending for “Other” would surely brighten Lord Layard’s day. For everybody else, the budget is read-it-and-weep material, especially when you look at an increase of $1,200,000,000 (one point two billion) in property taxes. Ken explains possible consequences:
According to the Census, there are approximately three million households in New Jersey, with a home ownership rate of about 67%, so roughly 2 million households would have been eligible for the rebates. The elimination of the Homestead and NJ Saver rebates equates to an average $600 property tax increase for each of those households. In a state where fixed-income homeowners complain about an increase of less than $100 per year, this is a problem of epic proportions. If this tax increase survives the legislature, I predict that there will be wholesale removal of incumbents from their previously safe seats.
Roberto believes Codey won’t end the property tax rebate yet:
My gut feeling is they’ll try to find some money to pay for some kind of rebate, even if it’s only $250 or so for at least the middle class, with the cut-off for middle class being between $100,000 and $200,000 a year. But democrats will be real hard pressed to offset the rebates with any spending cuts that will tick off a constituency. But even worse would be telling the homeowners they won’t get the rebate while there’s no visible cuts in state government.
Enlighten-NJ notices that
Twelve percent of the state’s revenue is spent for the benefit for all New Jersey citizens and 88 percent is spent on favored groups within the state.
Enlighten-NJ also has a detail-rich list of Codey’s fuzzy math. As you read, you’ll notice that, in addition to the elimination of the property tax rebate, eliminating the existing property tax deduction for those taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 and from eliminating the exclusion for up to $20,000 in retirement income for taxpayers with over $100,000 in income, and additional $25 million in taxes will be coming from a proposed change in the Realty Transfer Tax.
A man’s house is his castle. In New Jersey, the state will tax it as one.