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NJ is Taxing the Dead [AUDIO]

The transfer inheritance tax, one of New Jersey’s oldest taxes, dates back to 1892. This 16 percent levy is applied when property is transferred outside a deceased resident’s immediate family. Another so-called “death tax,” the estate tax, is applied on property valued at more than $675,000.

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Graveyard
Scott Barbour, Getty Images

New Jersey is one of 22 states with either kind of death tax, and one of just two states with both.

Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Cream Ridge) is trying to address that issue.

“New Jersey is not only the most expensive state to live in, it’s the most expensive state to die in,” Dancer said. “You know the saying that nothing is certain but death and taxes? In this state, it has taken on an entirely new meaning.”

Legislation introduced by Dancer would repeal the transfer inheritance tax and reduce New Jersey’s estate tax to be consistent with federal policy. His bill would completely repeal the transfer inheritance tax, and amend the estate tax to increase the filing threshold to $5.1 million.

“Few states tax estates, fewer have an inheritance tax and New Jersey is just one of two states that have both,” Dancer reiterated. “For those of us who are left standing, it is death by taxes.”

According to Dancer, statistics prove that wealthy Garden State residents are abandoning the state to avoid high taxes. He said New Jersey is losing money because the estate tax drives capital from the state.

Maryland is the only other state that imposes both death taxes.

Dancer has introduced this measure in the past, and he’s hoping to be successful this time around.

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