NJ Legislature Raised Taxes On Wealthy, But Wealthy Vetoed With Their Feet

The study was completed last year but they delayed release in order to give lawmakers a chance to consider the data with minimal pressure from an election.

According to the Washington Beacon:

New Jersey’s high taxes may be costing the state billions of dollars a year in lost revenue as high-earning residents flee, according to a recent study.

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The study shows the state has been steadily losing high-net-worth residents since 2004, when Democratic Gov. Jim McGreevey signed the millionaire’s tax into law. The law raised the state income tax 41 percent on those earning $500,000 or more a year.

“The inception of this tax, coupled with New Jersey’s already high property and estate taxes, leaves no mystery about why the term ‘tax migration’ has become a buzzword among state residents and financial, legal, and political professionals,” the study, conducted by Regent states.

Does this surprise anyone? Why should anyone want to stay in a place that takes a great chunk of their money when they have committed no crime? Let’s be clear, in New Jersey you are punished for being wealthy. If you want to make a half-million dollars or more a year, you want to do it in some other state.

So if you make $500,000 annually, you only have $295,000 left to use to pay your property tax and other taxes. Any government that would do that to you must hate you and think you are guilty of some crime.

The crime of being wealthy.

Meanwhile, churches and voluntary organizations struggle to get by on donations. Taking over a third of someone’s income does not help them find generous donors.

So, as anyone would predict, many are emigrating from the state. That leaves New Jersey with 41 percent of zero income. Plus, as wealthy people leave, the property values of the best real estate go down and revenue from property taxes also sinks. If they want to invest money to start a new business, they do it somewhere that is not New Jersey. All those possible employment opportunities are lost because the New Jersey government is greedy for that 41 percent of their income.

Nevertheless, politicians have tried to increase the damage rather than heal it.

Democrats in New Jersey have been pushing for even higher taxes on the wealthy in recent years. They have failed three times to raise the millionaire’s tax even higher than McGreevey did under threat of a veto by Governor Chris Christie.

The wealthy aren’t the only ones being asked to pony up. This week Democratic State Sen. Ray Lesniak proposed a 5-cent per gallon gas tax to pay for transportation repairs and improvements and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D.) has indicated he would be open to considering several new taxes and fees to boost revenue for the state, including a tax on water consumption.

Such tax hikes are driving residents to states with lower tax rates: In 2010 alone, New Jersey lost taxable income of $5.5 billion because residents changed their state of domicile.

“Prior to the millionaire’s tax, more wealth was coming into the state than was leaving. Over a four-year period the aggregate net worth increased by $98 billion,” the study states. “However, the 2004-2008 post-millionaire’s-tax period shows more wealth leaving the state than coming in. The net outflow during this period reversed 70 percent of the wealth gained in the prior four years.”

Greed destroys people—including politicians and legislatures.