New Jersey Has Ninth Slowest Post-Recession Revenue Growth

Fiscal50map_taxrevenue_v6_finalThe path to economic recovery for the country as a whole is looking hopeful as total state tax revenue continues to grow after the Great Recession. However, a new state-by-state analysis paints a less rosy picture of New Jersey, despite years of assurances of a “Jersey Comeback” and the state’s “exceptional recovery.”

Nationwide, total state tax collections levels (adjusted for inflation) have exceeded their highest level since before the economic downturn in 2008, according to the report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Economic growth and new revenue from tax increases or other policy changes are considered the main drivers of the rebound.

But in New Jersey, with very slow economic growth and no new revenue, the data reinforces what we already know: Our state economy is in deep trouble. New Jersey’s tax receipts are down 11.8 percent from their pre-Recession peak in late 2007. This ranks as the ninth lowest of all the states. Alaska fares the worst, with revenues off by 68.6 percent, while North Dakota fares the best, with revenues up by 119.2 percent, thanks to its oil boom. The next-largest rebounds are in Illinois (19.8 percent) and Minnesota (16.3 percent).

With the pension reform dead, the Transportation Trust Fund busted and practically no new jobs added this year, this is more bad news for next year’s budget.