Phil Murphy says, no, I’m not done raising taxes yet

Here’s Phil Murphy’s guiding philosophy of government — Somewhere in NJ there is a guy with an extra dollar in his pocket, and that dollar belongs to me.

The ink isn’t even dry on his state budget “compromise, ” you know, the one that raised taxes on pretty much everything under the sun, and Phil’s already got his eye on raising the sales tax.

The argument about whether to raise New Jersey’s sales tax nearly shut down state government earlier this month.

The effort, pushed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, was blocked in the Legislature by members of his own party. A shutdown was averted, in part, after Murphy conceded to drop his push to revert the tax to 7 percent from its current 6.625 percent.

But the governor still wants the bump in the sales tax.

“We did not undo that in the budget (and) that’s one that I still think we should undo,” Murphy said in an “Ask the Governor” event Monday night.

Are you surprised?

Because I’m not surprised. Not in the least.

The only reason he didn’t hike it during the annual kabuki government shutdown dance is because it’s tied to a poison pill that kills last year’s gas tax increase if the sales tax goes back up. The legislature didn’t have enough time to untangle them what with all the other moving parts that make up the state budget. But now, now they’re ready to play Hose The Taxpayers Again.

The angle is superbly devious too — the sales tax hike is needed for, wait for it, Road Construction. As in the very thing that the gas tax is supposed to be paying for. Emphasis on “supposed to be.” I suspect the recent Janus ruling from SCOTUS has forced Murphy to detour the gas tax money into a new “Save The Unions From Political Oblivion” fund, because the NJEA doesn’t take kindly to having their Trenton clout diminished even just a little.

One wag in the comments to the above article put it like this — I’m waiting for Murphy to figure out how to tax the air. Dude, don’t give him any ideas.

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NJ Democrats, another day, another tax, this time on plastic grocery bags

These guys never run out of things to tax.

In the battle against litter in the Garden State, plastic bags have been public enemy number one.

Several municipalities, mostly along the Shore, have acted on their own to limit plastic bag use either through fees or bans. But for years, efforts for statewide regulation of the bags has failed to gain traction.

Now, state lawmakers have decided that it is time to move forward.

A new fee on plastic and paper shopping bags is being pushed through the state legislature: The bill cleared budget committees in both the Assembly and Senate on Tuesday and could be passed as early as this Thursday. Legislative leaders expect the proposal to generate $23.4 million, and according to the bill that money will go toward getting lead out of schools and homes.

Why ban ’em if you can tax ’em! It’s for the children!

Lead paint hasn’t been used in going on 60 years now. But gosh-darn-it we need a new funding stream to “eradicate” it once and for all. Or maybe somebody’s brother-in-law needs a new side gig and … spins the wheel … lead paint, that’s the ticket!

The econuts are actually opposed to this tax, not because they’re sane, but because they want an outright ban statewide. And the grocery stores aren’t too keen on socking their customers with a new fee either. Oh, and here’s the best part, the tax won’t apply to anyone on welfare or food stamps. How’s that gonna work? Do they get little “my bags are free” cards? Who thinks of this shit?

The IRS puts a damper on Phil Murphy’s property tax charity scam

Earlier this month Phil Murphy and his Democratic henchmen in the NJ state legislature created what they call a “workaround” to the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions that was enacted as part of President Trump’s tax reform package. The SALT deduction is popular in high tax states like NJ where the average taxpayer claimed a deduction of more than $18,000 against his taxable income last year. But it’s unfair to residents of low tax states who end up subsidizing NJ’s profligate spending local governments as they pay more in federal tax on similar gross incomes.

The scheme concocted by Murphy transforms property tax payments into “charitable contributions,” which remain fully deductible.

The new law (S1893) allows municipalities, counties and school districts to set up charitable funds to pay for public services. Residents who donate to the funds can receive a credit of up to 90 percent toward their property tax bills, and those contributions can then be written off as charitable deductions on their federal taxes.

Republicans warned Murphy that property tax payments aren’t really charity. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll labeled it “tax fraud.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the idea “ridiculous.” And acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter expressed skepticism about it when addressing a congressional committee back in February.

Yesterday the IRS officially weighed in, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to let Murphy scam them.

But, on Wednesday, the IRS and Treasury signaled they could take a dim view of states taking this sort of action.

The agencies issued a notice saying that they plan to propose regulations to “help taxpayers understand the relationship between federal charitable contribution deductions and the new statutory limitation on the deduction of state and local taxes.”

“Taxpayers should be mindful that federal law controls the proper characterization of payments for federal income tax purposes,” the notice says.

That’s bureaucrat-eeze for “don’t do that.”

So of course Murphy immediately backed down and vowed to find a way to meaningfully reduce our state’s highest in the nation property tax burden.

Just kidding! He unleashed Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell with threats of, wait for it, lawsuits.

“It’s Jersey. We’re ready for a fight,” said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., a leading proponent of efforts to use charitable funds as a way to evade the cap.

“It would give some relief to the taxpayers who are being screwed by the Republicans,” Pascrell said. “If the IRS rules it to be unlawful, we’ll have do something else and we’ll see them in court, guaranteed.”

If we’re being screwed by anyone, it’s NJ Democrats, who continually find new and destructive ways to separate us from our hard-earned money. Rather than trying to tamper down NJ’s tax burden Murphy is demanding more than $1.5 billion in new taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. Because Democrats are genetically incapable of cutting spending, but they’re very good at blaming Republicans for the problems they’ve caused.

The Phil Murphy Effect: “My Clients Are Fleeing NJ Like It’s on Fire.”

Well, I guess the guys at Allied Van Lines like Phil Murphy. Everyone else, not so much.

That headline arrives via email from a money manager in northern New Jersey. The Garden State already has the third largest overall tax burden and the country’s highest property tax collections per capita. Now that federal reform has limited the deduction for state and local taxes, the price of government is surging again among high-income earners in New Jersey and other blue states. Taxpayers are searching for the exits.

In the financial industry of course it’s not just the clients who are looking for greener pastures. One hedge fund manager moving his office to a southern state reports that his new home on a golf course will be more than double the size of his house in Chatham, N.J. while generating just one third of the current property tax bill.

Others are staying out of necessity, but that doesn’t mean they want to bet on a Jersey comeback. “The apartment market in New Jersey is booming because nobody wants to own here. As soon as people are not tied to the area for business reasons, they leave,” says Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared, an alternative investments firm. “We structure real estate deals for family offices and high-net-worth individuals and at a record pace those family offices and individuals are leaving the TriState for lower-tax states. Probably a dozen this year at least,” he writes via email.

Last one to leave, please turn off the lights.

 

Feets don’t fail me now! “GOP’s SALT cap may speed exodus from high-tax states, report says”

Do high state and local taxes chase people away?

Is the pope Catholic?

As if you needed more proof, but here’s a report which discovered the obvious.

Over the past decade, about 3.5 million Americans have relocated from high-tax blue states like California and those in the Northeast, to low-tax red states like Texas and Arizona — and the change is likely to accelerate.

So say Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore, co-authors of a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council, in a Wall Street Journal essay.

Laffer and Moore estimate that both California and New York will lose on net about 800,000 over the next three years, roughly double from the previous three years, while Connecticut, New Jersey and Minnesota combined with lose around 500,000 people in the same period.

Get out while the getting is good!

Hey, did I mention that Phil Murphy is just itching to raise taxes in New Jersey?

Texas or bust!