More unfair taxes strangle New Jerseyans
If someone didn't have a case of the Mondays this news should change all that. On Monday our already high gas tax went up again by 4.3 cents per gallon. Remember when we had one of the lowest gas taxes in the nation? You'll recall all that changed two years ago when Chris Christie and the Democratic-controlled legislature agreed to hike our gas tax by 23 cents per gallon. Why is it up again? Because there was a built-in provision that the tax could fluctuate depending on sales. If revenues fell below the $2 billion target, the tax could be raised to make up the loss. Well, it happened. Not surprisingly either considering NJ is a corridor state that a lot of traffic passes through. When we had one of the cheapest gas taxes people passing through made a point of stopping here rather than New York or Pennsylvania to fill up. Now it doesn't matter, so of course the consumption dropped off. It should not have taken a rocket scientist to see this coming. So here we are with another $4.3 cents per gallon making it that much tougher to survive in the Garden State.
Wish it ended there but it doesn't. Monday also brought several new taxes with it. As of Monday the state now collects sales tax from online retailers. If you're thinking 'wait, my Amazon purchases have been taxed for years now,' you're not wrong. That's because the law had already allowed sales tax on businesses that had a substantial presence here in the state. But a U.S. Supreme Court decision now opens it up to the rest.
Airbnb and the like will now suffer a sales and hotel occupancy tax on rentals, because of course the government can't seem to stomach innovation.
Then there's the e-cigarette nonsense. Vapers beware. There is now a tax on the juice. It's a 10 cent per milliliter tax on nicotine liquid. This one especially bothers me. Until science has definitively proven vaping has serious health risks like smoking, they shouldn't be treating them the same. In fact, vaping has helped countless people quit smoking, cut down step by step on the level of nicotine, and now vape nicotine-free. Even if you are a vaper who still uses the liquid with nicotine, it's not the nicotine that causes cancer. I say this is as always about money, not about health.
So welcome to a new week where your wallet just got thinner still New Jersey!
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