Federal Tax Plan No Reason to Shelve NJ Income Tax Fixes

This appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the November 28, 2017 edition of The Star-Ledger.

Legislative leaders are now expressing caution about long-held plans to make New Jersey’s income tax fairer by asking the wealthiest residents to pay a little more. The reason: Fears about a “double whammy” if the Republicans’ federal tax proposal eliminates state and local tax deductions used heavily by New Jerseyans. But those fears are unfounded.

In fact, the Republican tax proposals in D.C. all favor the wealthy – even if these deductions disappear. Under the new Senate plan, for example, it’s New Jersey families earning under $111,000 who will, on average, pay more in net taxes – not the wealthy. In fact, Garden State families with incomes over $440,000 would get an average annual $2,826 tax cut. The bottom line: New Jersey’s wealthy families aren’t being punished by the GOP tax plans – they’re being rewarded.

New Jersey’s leaders should absolutely make the state’s income tax fairer – and they should also look into recouping some of the federal tax cut dollars to help protect the state’s working families from the devastating cuts to health care, food assistance, education and housing that the GOP tax plan tees up.