N.J. remains one of only 15 U.S. states with a marriage penalty

TRENTON, N.J. – In fifteen U.S. states, married couples are penalized for being married come tax time. That’s because their spouse’s income bumps them into a higher tax bracket than they’d otherwise occupy were they taxed on their income alone, just like a single person. 

New Jersey is one of them. Of course!

It’s a reminder that property and business taxes are just the tip of the iceberg concerning New Jersey’s tax affordability crisis. Last week, the D.C.-based Tax Foundation published a list of states which penalize married couples. Twenty-eight don’t have any such penalty built into their state income tax schemes; seven U.S. states (including Florida) levy no state income tax at all. Here’s the map:

Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Delaware – among the states where New Jerseyans are most likely to flee – fall into one of the above non-marriage penalty categories.

New Jersey’s own marriage penalty has the impact of increasing the tax burden on couples earning between $20,000 and $70,000 by 140%. Trenton Democrats have repeatedly blocked Republican attempts to get a full repeal through the state legislature.