N.J. Democrats block income tax marriage penalty repeal


TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey currently imposes an income tax penalty on Middle Class families earning under $70,000. 

During Thursday’s session, Morris County Assemblyman Anthony Bucco’s legislative effort to remove the tax penalty was blocked by Democrats who control the legislature.

“The best way to help low- and middle-income families is to put more money in their pockets,” said Bucco (R-25). “New Jersey’s progressive income tax system makes sure their income is taxed less for that reason, except for one caveat: the marriage penalty.”

Helping those who are barely scrapping by in the Garden State is the goal. A1404, the Marriage Penalty Elimination Act, would, if passed and signed into law, address the fact that New Jersey currently augments the tax burden by 140% for married couples earning more than $20,000 but less than $70,000. Not only does the state’s income tax currently ignore married couples in the second lowest bracket, but it also inserts an additional tax bracket on income over the $50,000 threshold.

Democrats prevented Bucco from fast-tracking the bill in a 44-24 vote, meaning the bill will need to clear the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“Ending this disparity will increase the purchasing power of struggling families and reduce their dependence on government programs. It is the same principle as increasing the earned income tax credit, and everybody here, including my colleagues across the aisle, supports that,” Bucco added.

“A vote against this motion is a vote against helping our constituents who need help the most.”