A resolution that would allow voters to decide whether to restore a higher tax rate on actual New Jersey millionaires has been introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer).
If voters approve the ballot question, the personal income tax rate on taxable income over $1 million would be increased from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent, and the revenues from the levy would be dedicated to property tax relief. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation.
“An overwhelming majority of New Jersey residents indicated their support of resurrecting the Millionaire’s Tax, according to a recent Rutgers-Eagleton Poll,” Turner said Tuesday. “Seventy-two percent of New Jerseyans approve of the idea; the level of support for this tax reflects a strong public opinion that the sacrifice during these tough economic times has not been shared by the wealthy.”
Gov. Chris Christie let the tax expire after the Democrats used it in the 2008-09 budget to help provide state revenue.
Turner said the wealthy are paying less in income taxes than they were a year ago. The senator said the proposal would be a tax on incomes above $1 million, unlike the old version, which included adjusted tax rates on incomes down to $400,000. She said the money collected from reinstating the tax would be credited to a constitutionally protected Direct Property Taxpayer Relief Fund.
“The governor’s office has said that this is a dead issue, but the public says otherwise,” Turner said. “In the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, it is appalling that middle and lower income families have to underwrite a tax cut so the state’s super-rich citizens can accumulate more material wealth. If the governor is unwilling to require a sacrifice from the millionaires, the voters should have the right to decide if we should balance the budget by balancing the burden.”
— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM