Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

State Business Tax Climate – 2022

The Tax Foundation released their 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index and coming in last….again:

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NJ Sustaining Corruption

The Garden State Initiative released a report on the state of New Jersey finances. You have heard it all before but what keeps being left out of these ivory tower pronouncements is the systemic corruption at all levels and in all corners of officialdom here that makes even the slightest improvement in our general fiscal situation a pipe dream.

Here are some excerpts along with a few charts on the pension system, the last of which makes my point.

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Tax the Rich!

Subtitled “How lies, loopholes, and lobbyists make the rich even richer”, the book looks at the tax-avoidance playbook of the rich as decoded by insiders with guilty consciences.

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Worst Customer Support by State

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago released working paper 2021-89 last month which began:

Many government services are provided at the state level such as unemployment insurance, Medicaid, and SNAP. Given the lack of competition, a natural worry is that customer support provided by states for these services is less than adequate. While there are many different measures of how a state can support beneficiaries, we focus on just one in this short and applied report: the ability to get a live representative on the phone to help with an application question. To do this, we take a “mystery shopping” approach and make 2,000 phone calls to state government offices.

If you were wondering who finished last.

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Largest Tax Increase In Recorded History

Though the records I was able to find only go back to 2014 but it was still a shock in a state that is supposed to have a cap on property tax increases to see a 4.8% increase in my property taxes in one year and a 20% increase since 2014.

The tenement project pushed by campaign donors set me off but this tax bill sealed it. An EDDM to 3,024 Kenilowrth households was dropped off at the Kenilworth Post Office yesterday.

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Thank You Trump and NJ Accountants

New Jersey got an extra $4 billion in taxes this quarter which normally would make for a self-congratultory hearing today as the Murphy administration looks to take more bows but, for some reason, it was reported:

State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio and the OLS analysts were supposed to discuss the revenue update Wednesday at a much-anticipated Assembly Budget Committee hearing. That was to give lawmakers an opportunity to publicly pore through the latest budget forecasts. But the hearing was canceled at the last minute Tuesday.

That reason is that the explanation would need to focus on the massive PPP bailout that Trump’s people pushed through and New Jersey accountants recognizing free money when they see it. Based on personal experience…

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Tax Hell Vs. Real Hell

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis made his recruting pitch:

Following up on Senator Rick Scott’s spiel:

Both miss the point that it is not the amount of taxes being spent but what those taxes are being spent on. I would give over all my money for taxes if government would meet all my needs, wants, and whims. The main problem with New Jersey is that for all its advantages* we have to fork over roughly 30% as a vig to support a corrupted government infrastructure**.

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Biden On Taxes

Skimming through the text of the State of the Union speech this is what mattered to me:

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NJ Taxpayers To Be Byrned Again

Regina M. Egea, president of the Garden State Initiative, in an op-ed piece picked up by the Chicago Tribune but not around here warned how Brendan Byrne’s new tax escalated:

Our state enacted a personal income tax in 1976 to support public schools and provide property tax relief. The tax began with a simple two-rate structure consisting of a 2.0% rate on income below $20,000 and a 2.5% rate on income above $20,000. In 45 years, 8 brackets have been introduced without any substantive update to account for inflation, making this more burdensome over time. The only meaningful change has been to establish a new top rate of 10.75%, the 3rd highest in the nation.

The state income tax eventually failed to stem the rise in the highest property taxes in the country since it was based on providing money to hundreds of de facto fiefdoms with no oversight. Ms. Egea goes on to speculate that Governor Murphy, with an even more pressing need for revenue, has another new tax in mind:

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STFU and Pay Your Taxes

The 2021 Union County Budget was passed unanimously today with only two members of the public piping up and, for any of you out there who feel yourself overtaxed and might want some answers of your own, here is a taste of what you can expect:

More from this meeting later as we look at detail and admissions (yes, the county is paying millions for those solar panels that were supposed to be free) but we start with the two questioners:

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