We agree that New Jersey needs to have tax fairness, but this means a fairer system for all taxpayers. As we know, New Jersey has among the highest taxes in the nation— income, property, corporate, sales, pensions and the estate and inheritance taxes.
The best way to help working families, including the families of the more than 1 million taxpayers employed by our 20,000 members, is to reduce their tax burden. Two-thirds of our members say that they take into account New Jersey’s estate and inheritance taxes when making business decisions. We are also one of only two states with both an estate and inheritance tax. These twin death taxes are one of many factors that leave us uncompetitive both nationally and with our neighboring states.
Only those who cannot avoid the estate tax by moving to other states pay. Any loss of revenue by phasing out the estate tax will be more than offset by the economic activity generated by those now leaving the state because of the tax, opting to stay here.
Further, high taxes are pushing people out of New Jersey and it is costing jobs. NJBIA’s study "Outmigration by the Numbers: How Do We Stop the Exodus?" reported that New Jersey lost $18 billion in net adjusted gross income during the last decade representing $8.4 billion in lost household spending; $11.4 billion in lost economic output; 75,000 lost jobs and $4 billion in total lost labor income.
A recent Gallup poll put New Jersey at the top of the list of states with the most people who want to leave. Another study concluded that New Jersey’s lost adjusted gross income was the fourth largest in the nation, behind only New York, California, and Illinois.
Gallup: State tax burden linked to desire to leave state. NJ was tied for first with the highest percentage (46 percent) of residents who would most like to leave. “Even after controlling for various demographic characteristics including age, gender, race and ethnicity, and education, there is still a strong relationship between total state tax burden and desire to leave one’s current state of residence,” the 2016 poll stated.
How Money Walks tracks wealth migration throughout the country. Measuring net gains and losses since 1992 (NJBIA’s study went back to 2004), it concludes that New Jersey lost $29 billion in annual adjusted gross income, behind only New York ($86 billion), California ($54 billion), and Illinois ($42 billion).
Monmouth University/ Asbury Park Press Poll from 2014 cites taxes as the main driver for those who want to move out of New Jersey. According to the poll:
“Those earning more than $100,000 (63 percent) or between $50,000 and $100,000 (59 percent) are somewhat more likely than those earning under $50,000 (44 percent) to cite taxes and cost of living as the main reason they are likely to leave. On the other hand, those at the lower end of the income scale are more likely to name job opportunities (20%) as the reason they will leave when compared to those in the middle (11 percent) or upper (7 percent) income categories.”