Treasurer: Taxing millionaires more hurts N.J. economy

TRENTON – Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told the N.J. Bankers Association this morning that taxing N.J. millionaires more would ultimately hurt the state’s recovery, and that if anything, the state needs more, not fewer, millionaires to accelerate the recovery effort.

During the Association’s annual legislative day held at the Masonic Temple here, the state treasurer provided a glimpse into what one millionaire means to New Jersey.

The top 1 percent – which Democrats want to tax with a new millionaire’s tax, but which the governor has routinely said is dead on arrival – accounted for 38 percent of the state’s $11.1 billion in gross income tax in fiscal year 2011, Sidamon-Eristoff told the audience of more than 100.

Sidamon-Eristoff had examples of how a millionaire’s tax would hurt the state.  He said 34 taxpayers earning $100,000 a year would be needed to replace the loss of one taxpayer earning a million dollars who leaves the state.

He assured the bankers that high-end wage earners – who typically have multiple residences out-of-state – consider the benefits of leaving New Jersey when the topic of a millionaire’s tax comes up.

“This is a competitive decision’’ the administration has made in rejecting a millionaire’s tax, he said.

“We need more millionaires in New Jersey, whether we entice them to come here or grow them ourselves,’’ he said.

“Those individuals are supporting our revenue base,’’ and helping the state to provide the essential public services the state needs to provide, he said.

Sidamon-Eristoff said that in 2010, the state had approximately 14,800 taxpayers with incomes exceeding $1 million, and he reminded the audience such people pay substantial sales, property and other taxes, and they contribute to philanthropic causes that improve the quality of life here.

Sidamon-Eristoff was one of a series of state officials scheduled to address the Bankers Association. Treasurer: Taxing millionaires more hurts N.J. economy