Tax the NJ millionaires? Well, they’re not going anywhere (Opinion)
Get ready for Gov. Phil Murphy to propose a millionaire's tax ... again.
Ever since he came into office, Murphy's pushed for a millionaire's tax in his annual budget -- he'll present the latest Tuesday at 2 p.m. And every year, the legislature fights him on it. While he got a concession on a tax for those making at least $5 million a few year's back, he's get to really get the proposal through.
The argument against it has been that it's hostile to the people who already pay big property taxes and who already employee lots of New Jerseyans -- that they'll abandon the state and leave us all hanging.
Jim Gearhart doesn't buy it.
Jim's done some rough math.
A report from WealthX.com estimated New York and New Jersey lost about 5,700 millionaires in 2018. Jim says even if more than half -- say, 3,000 -- were from New Jersey, that would represent only about 1 percent of the millionaires in the state.
Sure, some of them left over taxes. After all, 2018 was the first year the Trump administration capped the so-called SALT (state and local tax) dedication on federal tax filings, which many in New Jersey used as a relief valve for the state's high property tax rates. But many must have left for other reasons, too.
"They left for better jobs, they got transferred, they retired," Jim says. So some fraction of 1 percent of our millionaires left over taxes, and some fraction left over other issues, according to Jim's math.
And in the grand scheme of things, Jim says, a fraction of 1 percent isn't a whole lot.
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That's just part of what Jim and Bob Williams take on in the latest installment of his show, also available as a podcast. Check out the full episode to hear the rest.
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— New Jersey 101.5 staff. Includes prior reporting by Dan Alexander
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