Friday Facts and Figures: April 26, 2019

Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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1.4 Percent

New Jersey’s tax collections remain 1.4 percent below pre-Great Recession levels, according to a new analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts. This is an artifact of almost ten years’ worth of trickle-down tax policy and acts as further proof that the state has a revenue problem — not a spending problem. New Jersey is an outlier nationwide, as tax collections for other states are, on average, 13.4 percent higher they were in 2007. The report directly links the state’s revenue problem to large cuts to the sales tax, corporate taxes, and the elimination of the estate tax. A millionaires tax would provide the state with new revenue while also making the tax code fairer. [NJ Spotlight / John Reitmeyer]

$7 Billion

While most states’ tax collections have rebounded since the Great Recession, funding for higher education has not. In 2018, state funding for public colleges and universities was more than $7 billion below pre-Great Recession levels. With lower levels of state funding, public colleges must rely on tuition and fee increases to balance their budgets. This results in higher costs — and debt — for students. [CNBC / Abigail Hess]

$45 Billion

In total, states and cities spend an estimated $45 billion to $100 billion on corporate subsidies every year. This race to the bottom makes it increasingly difficult for local governments to invest in programs proven to grow the economy, like education and infrastructure, and it has no end in sight — until now. According to The Nation, “New Jersey is doing the nation a favor by pulling back the curtain on a problem with which nearly every city and state in America deals: being blackmailed by corporations coughing up public money.” States and cities across the country would be wise to follow New Jersey’s lead in reevaluating their runaway corporate subsidy programs. [The Nation / Pat Garofalo]

$22 Billion

Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. If allowed in the Census, this question threatens an accurate count of residents in states with high immigrant populations. In New Jersey, an undercount could result in a loss of up to $22 billion in federal funding and diluted representation in state and national government. According to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the state will need $9 million to fund outreach to ensure a complete count. [NJ Spotlight / Colleen O’Dea]

$42.7 Million

Essex is one of three counties in the state that has a prison bed contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In 2019, Essex County expects to receive $42.7 million from ICE, and advocates estimate the county will make $15 to $20 million in profit from this agreement. The Essex County Correctional facility, where the immigrants are detained, has been marred by controversy for alleged health and safety violations. The county government will not commit to terminating its contract with ICE, but they plan to allocate $750,000 to a legal representation fund for detainees. [ / Eric Kiefer]


NJPP President Brandon McKoy appeared on Power and Politics alongside Tom Bracken of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce to discuss the future of the EDA. When asked if he wants to “blow it up,” Brandon states that he simply “wants to reform it to ensure it makes good use of New Jersey tax payer dollars.” Watch the interview using this link — the EDA segment starts at 14:00. [News 12 New Jersey]

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