Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer) today issued the following statement in response to news reports that the governors of both New York and California have agreed that the super-rich should be contributing more to balance the states’ budgets. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reportedly reached a deal with legislative leaders to prevent an income tax on the wealthy from sunsetting in 2012. California Governor Jerry Brown will allow voters to decide if $500,000-plus earners should pay a higher income tax rate. Senator Turner is the prime sponsor of S-2742, introduced in February 2011, to increase the gross income tax rate on incomes exceeding $1,000,000 and dedicating the revenue from such increase to property tax relief. She is also the sponsor of SCR153, which would allow voters to decide on the issue.
“California is on its way and New York has given the green light to tax its richest residents and relieve the middle class and the working poor from the burden of balancing the budget. It’s time for New Jersey to follow their example. The tax breaks for the wealthy have not created the promised tax windfall; the jobs have not materialized and our economy is still sluggish. The only thing the tax breaks have accomplished is making the rich richer and everyone else poorer. Since the revenue isn’t coming in, we can’t continue to cut our way out of the recession or add to the burden of the ninety-nine percent.”
“According to an Eagleton Poll earlier this year, 72 percent of New Jerseyans approve of the idea of a millionaires’ tax, but the super rich have also given their endorsement. A survey released by the Spectrem Group in late October found that 68 percent of millionaires support raising taxes on those with $1 million or more in income; 61 percent of those with net worths of $5 million or more support the tax.”
“If the reason given for not increasing the millionaires’ tax is that it will chase New Jersey’s super-rich to New York, that excuse does not exist. We should reinstate a millionaires’ tax on those whose income exceed $1 million per year to provide the revenue that our budget needs or place it on the ballot to let the voters decide.”