The Tax Cut Package, By the Numbers

This afternoon New Jersey’s political leaders will host a “roundtable” to tout the recently enacted tax-cut package’s supposed positive impact on the economy and “value for retirees.”

What they won’t likely tout is the package’s reckless nature, or the fact that it will certainly make it all that much harder for New Jersey to provide adequate services to all its residents; create a strong safety net for the record numbers of New Jerseyans in poverty; prevent additional and dramatic increases in the cost of college tuitions or transit fares; or help tame property taxes.

They also won’t likely tout that the tax cut’s dollars will disproportionately go to the most well-off in the state (and out of the state, since many heirs to New Jersey estates do not reside here), and will hardly be noticeable to many middle class or working poor families.

Since they will likely fail to raise the critical issues, we will:

$1.4 billion: The total amount of lost revenue from the five tax cuts and credits

Sales Tax Cut

45%: The share of the overall tax cut from the sales tax reduction, which will be split between the approximately 9 million residents of New Jersey, as well as plenty of out-of-state residents who spend money here. (About 20% of the sales tax cut will go to non-New Jerseyans.) For New Jersey residents = an average tax cut of about $99 a year

Of this:

  • About 64% will go to the top 40% of all New Jersey households (those with annual incomes over $79,000)
  • About 17% will go to households in the middle (with incomes between $49,000 and $79,000)
  • Just 18% will go to the bottom 40% of all New Jersey households (those with incomes below $49,000)

Estate Tax Elimination

39%: The share of the overall tax cut that will be split between about 4,000 heirs of New Jersey’s largest estates, via the total elimination of the estate tax ($562 million) = an average tax cut of about $140,000

Of this:

    • Approximately 72% will go to a few hundred (about 22%) of the heirs who currently pay the tax; those who are inheriting the largest multi-million-dollar estates
    • The rest (just 28%) will go to 78% of the heirs who currently pay the tax; those who are inheriting smaller – but still sizable – estates valued between $675,000 and $2 million
    • The 96% of estates left by deceased New Jerseyans that are worth less than $675,000 will continue to be untaxed

    Retirement Income Exemption

    9%: The share of the overall tax cut that will be split between about 200,000 New Jersey households with annual retirement income between $10,000 and $100,000, via a 400 percent expansion of an existing tax exemption on retirement income = an average tax cut of approximately $670

    Of this:

    • About 84% will go to the top 40% of all New Jersey households (those with annual incomes over $79,000)
    • About 16% will go to households in the middle (with incomes between $49,000 and $79,000)
    • Just 1% will go to the bottom 40% of all New Jersey households (those with incomes below $49,000), because these taxpayers are already largely covered under the current exemption

    Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion

    5%: The share of the overall tax cut that will be split between nearly 600,000 working families who are struggling to get by in high-cost New Jersey, via the increase in the state Earned Income Tax Credit to 35% of the federal level = an average tax cut of $118

    Veterans Exemption

    2%: The share of the overall tax cut that will be split between an estimated 220,000 veterans that have income tax liability in New Jersey (the Office of Legislative Services estimates that half of all veterans in the state pay no income tax and thus would receive no benefit) = an average tax cut of $105