It was the sound of State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. delivering a beautiful, well-deserved smack down to Senate President Steve Sweeney earlier this afternoon after New Jersey’s highest ranking Democrat flip-flopped on tax relief and moved closer to accepting the Governor’s 10% income tax cut proposal.
Senator Kean made two extremely points in his issued statement:
(1) tax credits ≠ tax cuts, and
(2) where has Sweeney been on this issue for an entire decade while his party controlled Trenton?
For the eight years that Democrats held complete control in Trenton, they attacked the middle class and raised the cost of living in New Jersey with 115 tax and fee increases on everything fromowning your home, commuting to work or vacationing down the shore. Property taxes spiked by 60% and property tax rebates diminished when the economy souredand people needed relief the most.
The Senate President’s ‘about-face’ on middle class tax relief is welcome, butneeds improvement in a bi-partisan fashion like we achieved on the historic 2%property tax cap. With a large majority of small businesses paying taxes at personal income tax rates and 9% unemployment, we cannot lose sight of income taxes that are higher than Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.
It is impossible to be in favor of attracting good, high paying jobs but against listening to the advice of job creators who say the income tax is a problem that prevents them from hiring and expanding.
While credits serve as short term band aids for property tax payers, thisproposal will not reduce our highest in the nation property tax burden in thelong term. Since the inception of New Jersey’s rebate system, property taxeshave skyrocketed- not been reduced. Property taxes can only be lowered by giving mayors and school boards the tools necessary to get costs under control and to ensure a fairer distribution of education funding.
We can find common ground if the Senate President abandons his vow not to negotiate and instead works with Republicans and the Governor on a tax relief plan that addresses the needs of all New Jerseyans.”