July 12, 2006

New Jersey: Up and Running!

Last week, New Jersey's Governor Jon Corzine and the Legislature agreed to a compromise budget that includes raising the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent and using at least some of the increased revenue for property tax relief.

This compromise ended a 6-day government shutdown that left many in New Jersey without state services. The Governor and state legislators did not make public any specifics about how the property tax relief would be structured. For a look at other options to reform the sales tax without raising the rate, read this report from New Jersey Policy Perspectives.

The recent shutdown of New Jersey casinos provided an opportunity for surrounding states to lure gamblers (and tax dollars) away from the Garden State. In Delaware, slot parlors saw an estimated increase of almost 20 percent in revenue. Nearby Pennsylvania has also legalized some forms of gambling and will also soon compete with New Jersey. As more and more states turn to casinos to generate tax dollars, states will probably find it more difficult to depend on revenue from this source. Instead of gambling on the future, lawmakers should focus on more reliable sources of funding. You can read ITEP’s policy brief on gambling by clicking here.

So how are residents of the state reacting to their state government being function again? Check out this interesting article to learn more.

Parts of this post were originally published in CTJ's Tax Digest, a weekly email that highlights state and federal tax trends across the country. If you'd like to subscribe to the digest send an email to: ctj@ctj.org


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