TRENTON – No surprises here.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-6) won approval in the Assembly to require New Jersey millionaires to pay more and restore a tax credit. The measure passed the Assembly 47-31-1.
The bill (A-4602) temporarily would change New Jersey’s gross income tax rate to 10.75 percent from 8.97 percent for about 14,500 of the wealthiest taxpayers with taxable incomes exceeding $1 million. In addition to eliminating a tax break enjoyed by millionaires and funding critical programs for middle- and working-class families, the bill would restore the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
“This legislation is about taking a stand in the name of tax fairness so that New Jersey can adequately fund the programs and services that hard-working middle- and working-class families need,” said Prieto. “A stronger, more prosperous New Jersey lies in this plan, which proves that meeting the state’s legally-mandated fiscal obligations and building a state where all have the opportunity to live and raise a family are not mutually exclusive.”
“There is something disconcerting and fundamentally wrong about a New Jersey where the wealthy get relief while working people face roadblocks every step of the way. With this plan, we put middle- and working-class families first, knowing that trickle-down economics just doesn’t work. The proof is in years of this administration’s fiscal failure,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “This plan recognizes that we cannot – and will not – reach our full potential as a state if we ignore the plight of those everyday New Jersey residents who are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to find work.”
The measure also would increase the EITC to 25 percent of the federal amount, restoring another Christie administration cut and providing tax relief to low-income working families, beginning with taxable year 2015. The governor reduced the successful anti-poverty credit to 20 percent of the federal tax credit from 25 percent in his first budget in 2010, effectively raising taxes on low-income families by $45 million. Some 528,000 taxpayers received an average state EITC benefit of approximately $430 during FY 2010, according to federal and state data.