Friday, April 07, 2006
New Jersey Challenging Massachusetts as Most Liberal State
But Rebovich, acknowledging that "New Jersey's budget is a very complicated issue," asserts that "when it comes to liberal spending, New Jersey ranks right up there." The state also has one of the largest unionized work forces in the nation; one in every five workers belongs to a union.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, residents of New Jersey pay the highest local property taxes in the nation, more than twice the national average.
According to the Tax Foundation, New Jersey ranks 14th in the nation and higher than Massachusetts for the combined state/local tax burden on its residents. New Jersey residents have to work eight days longer than average to pass "Tax Freedom Day," the point on the calendar that conservatives point to as the day when Americans have earned enough money to pay their tax bills for the year.
Among states levying personal income taxes, New Jersey has the sixth highest in the nation, higher than Massachusetts.
"New Jersey's budget is a sea of red ink from years of political neglect," Rebovich said. "Many residents are irate that when companies like Ford and GM said they were dealing with tough financial times, they laid off 20,000 workers each. Governor Corzine says the same about New Jersey, and only 1,000 state workers will face the axe.
"The feeling is New Jersey probably could have trimmed the government more. People just feel that the mistakes of Trenton are being directly passed on to them," said Rebovich.