By Matt Rooney
Tax Day sucks. There’s no use mincing words, Save Jerseyans. You work hard all year only to have the government step in and take the fruits of your labor for… what? Endless investigations? The welfare/entitlement state? Ill-advised military interventions? Federal contractors and God knows who/what else they keep under wraps?
Here in perennially over-taxed New Jersey, the average taxpayer will pay today (if you haven’t already, or unless you’re taking an extension) but will also continue to work until April 30th to satisfy his or her federal, state and local tax burdens (h/t Tax Foundation). That’s the second longest stretch in the country of work without actual post-tax benefit! But there is a little good news this year…
Last year’s ‘tax freedom day’ came on May 3rd. While only a few days less awful, April 30th is actually the soonest its occurred in New Jersey in quite a while.
God knows Phil Murphy and the Trenton Democrats haven’t done anything to help. Rain taxes, millionaire taxes, higher business, property, and even gas taxes, etc. and so on.
Donald Trump and the former Republican congressional majority did do something.
The early info suggests Americans are generally paying less this year. A full 82% of the American Middle Class got a tax cut in 2018.
That’s an average savings of $1,260. Not huge money but real money.
This is the key: 90% of American workers saw significant take-home pay bump thanks to changes to the IRS’s adjusted withholding tables ushered in by the tax reform package signed into law by President Trump. Yes, many of your REFUNDS are smaller this year, but that’s because you PAID LESS during the course of the actual year due to less withholding. Pay attention!
Overall wage growth? 3.3%+ in 2018. We haven’t done this well in over a decade.
Things even got a little better in New Jersey, too, even if your Democrat “leaders” aren’t acting like it. There’s a reason for that: even with the new $10,000 cap on “SALT” deductions (state and local taxes), the average federal tax cut for 2018 worked out to about $1,500. Better than 50% of New Jerseyans saw a cut of about $2,740. For many Garden State residents, expanded child credits and a doubled standard deduction balanced out the cap issue and then some.
Notwithstanding all of this evidence, New Jersey Democrats are still blaming Trump and Republicans for our state’s tax woes.
That’s predictable, cynical and totally illogical.
The math is irrefutable: New Jersey is better off for the Trump tax cuts.
We could be even better off if we hadn’t sent Phil Murphy and his lackeys in the legislature to Trenton and, instead, elected leaders who CUT OUR SALT BURDEN. Lower state income and property taxes would resulted in an even better April 15th for New Jerseyans who actually pay taxes (remember: most of the bottom 50% of tax filers have no actual net federal tax burden thanks to our progressive tax system).
There’s a recall effort afoot targeting Governor Murphy. It’s extremely unlikely to succeed. Between now and 2021? Every member of the Assembly is on the ballot this fall, Save Jerseyans.
If fighting over ‘who gets to pee in which bathroom with which set of anatomy’ is your most important issue? Stop reading now. You’re hopeless.
If keeping a couple or even a few extra thousand of YOUR hard-earned bucks matters to you? To pay down that student loan, get a car that doesn’t break down in extreme temperatures, or build a patio/deck for a family barbecue? Your choice is clear. You need to set aside your infatuation with social justice warriorism and vote your bottom lines beginning in 2019 and continuing on through 2020 and 2021. Social justice warriors make for shitty elected officials. Ask a friend in a less-taxed state how well they made out with the accountant this year.
MATT ROONEY is a practicing New Jersey attorney, regular panelist on ‘Chasing News’ with Bill Spadea, and the founder and blogger-in-chief of Save Jersey.