The attached letter was sent to Senate President Stephen Sweeney today signed by all 16 Republican Senators.
Dear Senate President Sweeney,
Yesterday we learned that for the third year in a row New Jersey residents carried the highest tax burden in America. While clearly undesirable, this distinction should not be a surprise to anyone.
For far too long New Jersey’s answer to its problems was to throw money at them. In the eight years prior to Governor Christie’s election, taxes were raised 115 times to fund $11 billion in spending increases and a doubling of the state’s debt. It’s hardly surprising then that the state has lagged in population growth, seen among the highest job losses in the region, and was rated the worst place in America to employ workers during that time period.
We have nothing to show for these tax increases other than economic stagnation and a loss of jobs and residents. Raising taxes on anyone in the midst of a recession is bad policy, and we encourage you to take this issue off the table during upcoming budget deliberations.
People from all walks of life – from the recent college grad to the empty nester – cannot and will not tolerate any increase in income taxes that adds to the high cost of living here.
Across the river, Governor Cuomo is moving in the opposite direction by supporting reductions in New York’s income tax rate. He understands, as we understand, that raising income taxes is counterproductive to job growth and economic recovery, however convenient the politics.
In fact, several members of your own caucus opposed playing this type of top bracket politics as recently as 2009 given the highly progressive nature of New Jersey’s income tax as compared to the rest of the country.
Should Senate leadership attempt to insert tax increases into this year’s budget, Republican Senators will stand united in opposition.
Thank you for your consideration.