New Jersey’s state government gives businesses billions of dollars in grants, loans and tax breaks to create or save jobs. And every dollar has to be strictly accounted for. It’s the law. Supposedly.
President Obama’s budget includes several important improvements to the pro-work Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) that would impact more than 750,000 low-wage New Jersey workers. The tax-credit changes would reduce poverty among low-wage workers and their families, reduce income inequality, strengthen work incentives and give a boost to New Jersey’s economy.
When the governor delivered his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 (FY 2015), he also released updated information on this year’s budget, most importantly acknowledging that the state is facing a nearly $800 million shortfall.
“Exodus on the Parkway,” a new 36-page paper on the impact of tax rates on New Jersey’s economic health begins by noting that it “does not provide proof or hard evidence that high income or high net worth residents are leaving New Jersey because of high tax rates.”
The governor put New Jersey’s pension obligations front and center in his budget address, sounding the alarm about a “crisis” that the pension (and health benefit and debt) payments are creating for the state’s fiscal health. But close budget observers may have noticed an odd tidbit: the proposed budget includes only $2.25 billion in pension payments, not the $2.4 billion announced earlier. An obscure new report may explain why.