Governor Chris Christie and other Trenton politicians are talking about post-Hurricane Sandy tax hikes as if they’re a foregone conclusion, Save Jerseyans.
They may be. Trenton’s appetite for your money is voracious and needs few excuses. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessary.
On Tuesday, NJ Spotlight published an excellent observation concerning the aftermath of Hurriane Katrina. I’d recommend sharing it with your legislators/local officials/friends/family who mistakenly believe state tax revenues are guaranteed to dip:
In fact, based on the experience of Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, state revenues could even get a net boost as a result of massive reconstruction financed by federal disaster relief funds and insurance settlements in the remaining seven-and-a-half months of the current fiscal year, David Rosen, budget and finance officer for the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, said in an interview.
“When Katrina hit in August, Louisiana’s contingent revenue forecasting group met in October and reduced their revenue forecast by 10 percent,” Rosen reported. “The Republicans in the Legislature loved it because they wanted to cut spending anyway. But when the revenues came in, they exceeded the pre-Katrina amount.”
“The amount of federal and insurance money coming in was enormous, and it was amazing how quickly it got spent,” Rosen said of post-Katrina Louisiana. Louisiana’s “sales tax bubble” lasted two years, riverboat casino revenues soared because of new patronage from the construction workers who poured into the state, and income tax revenues suffered some in the first year because people who were rebuilding deferred as much tax as they could, but bounced back strongly the second year.
Food for thought, folks. The entire article is really worth a read; as always, informed citizens need to avoid adopting a popular premise without scrutinizing the information/context for themselves.