Thursday, February 18, 2010


An income tax surcharge on New Jersey residents who earn over $400,000 a year expired on December 31, 2009. Former Governor Jon Corzine proposed the tax and revenue from the high-income-earner tax generated roughly $900 million for the state last year. Despite New Jersey's chronic fiscal woes, Republican Governor Chris Christie swears he will not increase taxes. Re-instituting the lapsed tax would be tantamount to a tax hike.

Democrats in the Garden State are criticizing the new Governor for proposing Draconian cuts to colleges, hospitals, schools and programs that help the blind and deaf. They say Christie would clearly rather give tax breaks to the rich than fund important programs.

Christie's nominee for State Treasuer has an interesting perspective on the tax. Andrew Eristoff is a former New York State Tax Commissioner under Governor George Pataki. He also worked under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the city's commissioner of finance and is a former Manhattan GOP chairman and New York City Council member.

Eristoff says, "When I was sitting in my office as (tax) commissioner in New York State, and before that in New York City, we were shocked, bewildered and overjoyed, literally popping champagne corks when we heard of our wonderful neighbors in New Jersey increasing taxes throughout the last decade because it took New York off the hook. Suddenly beyond any of our wildest imaginations or expectations, New Jersey was making itself uncompetitive therefore giving us (in New York) a great deal of cover."

I suppose the grass isn't always greener on the other side. At least not on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.


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