Friday Facts and Figures

Friday Facts and Figures: January 25, 2019

With inequality on the rise, economists look toward wealth taxes to close the gap.

Published on Jan 25, 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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The world’s richest 26 people own as much as the poorest 50 percent, according to a new report by Oxfam. The report also found that the wealth of 2,200 billionaires grew by 12 percent — or $900 billion — in 2018, while the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population fell by 11 percent. Oxfam recommends that governments across the globe do more to fund high-quality, universal public services through fairer taxation on corporations and the richest individuals’ wealth. [The Guardian / Larry Elliott]

0.1 Percent

A 1 percent federal wealth tax on the top 0.1 percent of Americans could raise $1.3 trillion over a decade, according to a new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). This tax would apply to any taxpayer whose net worth exceeds $32.2 million and would allow the federal government to raise significant revenue for robust public services and address runaway inequality.  [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy / Steve Wamhoff]


On Thursday, the bill to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour passed through the Assembly Labor Committee and is slated for a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Monday. The proposal would raise the minimum wage for most workers by 2024, with a slower phase-in schedule for seasonal, small business, and agricultural workers. As Brandon McKoy breaks down in this explainer, all workers have a pathway to earn the full minimum wage by 2030. [NJPP / Brandon McKoy]

$1.04 Billion

In the six states that have taxed and regulated the adult use of cannabis, annual tax revenues total $1.04 billion. This rivals the amount of tax revenue collected from all forms of alcohol, $1.16 billion, in these same six states. In a new report on cannabis taxation, ITEP recommends states apply cannabis excise taxes based on weight, not price, as prices have been shown to fall dramatically in the years following legalization. [Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy / Carl Davis et al.]

76 Percent

A January poll by the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy found broad, bipartisan support for paid family leave expansion. The poll found that 76 percent of New Jersey adults support increasing paid family leave from six weeks to twelve weeks, allowing individuals to take off work for a childbirth or to take care of a sick family member. [Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy]


NJPP’s Sheila Reynertson presents a roadmap for reforming the Economic Development Authority in an op-ed in NJ BIZ. By capping annual subsidy spending and per-job awards, New Jersey can protect itself from future abuses of the state’s hallmark economic development programs. [NJBIZ / Sheila Reynertson]

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