By Peter Lawrance | April 24th, 2009 - 1:27pm
| More

The middle class taxpayers of New Jersey are under assault. They are caught in the cross hairs of an attack from their liberal tax and spend Governor and surprisingly from the right, in an attack from their supposed friend in ultra conservative candidate Steve Lonegan.  While Governor Corzine's plan to increase taxes, to end the property tax rebates and to eliminate the deduction for our outrageous property taxes for the middle class were to be expected, I had some hope for relief from Mr. Lonegan.  As I have some insight into State Budgets and New Jersey's tax policies, I thought I would check him out.

I have to wonder if he simply does not understand the New Jersey income tax system, or worse if he actually intends to increase the income taxes for two thirds of New Jersey's residents. While his plan sounds simple and perhaps appealing, the idea that we could replace our current graduated tax rate with a single or flat rate system, a simple review of the numbers shows  this plan to be a flat out loser, destroying the middle class and seniors while rewarding only the most affluent. 

Mr. Lonegan claimed in his press release that his plan would benefit an "overwhelming majority of homeowners and taxpayers", the facts and the numbers are not on his side. I went to the Department of Treasury website and looked at the data for the most current tax year and confirmed my belief that his plan would devastate the middle class and the senior citizens of this State.

The truth is that every married couple filing a joint return, with an income under $100,000. Some 860 thousand New Jersey families would see their income taxes dramatically increase under his proposed flat tax. In fact, families with a taxable income of $70,000 would see their income tax increase over 56%.  So much for helping the middle class and New Jersey's working families.

The numbers are very similar for taxpayers who file individual returns. Taxpayers with an income under $50,000 would pay a staggering increase, as much as doubling their tax burden. Over 1.4million taxpayers earning less than $50,000 file their returns using the single status and would be penalized by this new "flat tax" scheme.

Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to the damaging impacts of this flat tax. There were over 400,000 tax returns filed for 2006 where at least one filer was over 65 years of age with a reported income of less than $50,000.  This represents 76% of the total tax returns for that year where at least one filer was over 65. The Flat Tax scheme is a staggering and indefensible tax increase for our seniors without any value or benefit.

The Lonegan "Flat Tax" scheme is nothing short of an assault on the middle class and senior citizen population of New Jersey. By my calculation, over two million taxpayers would see an increase while a million would see a reduction. With two thirds of the state losing, this plan is a "Flat Out Loser".  On top of that, Steve suggests that this plan will not significantly reduce the total tax receipts; he appears to simply want to tax the middle class and seniors while giving incredible breaks to the rich.

I believe that we all need a break from the staggering taxes in New Jersey and guess I will have to keep looking for help.

Peter Lawrance served as Acting State Treasurer in 2001-02.  He spent 22 years in the Office of Legislative Services Budget Office, and seven years as Deputy State Treasurer and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget

 

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources