Study: Taxpayers Fleeing Christie's New Jersey

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 06:44 AM


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New Jersey lost almost 88,000 taxpayers with income of $5.5 billion to other states in 2010, according to a report by RegentAtlantic Capital LLC, a Morristown-based investment adviser, citing Internal Revenue Service data.

About 41 percent of the net adjusted gross income that left the state went to Florida and 20 percent to Pennsylvania, according to Eric Furey, a financial adviser, and David Bugen, chairman and managing partner of the firm that has $2.8 billion under management.

The so-called tax migration is rooted in New Jersey’s high property and estate levies, according to the report. The state has the highest property taxes in the U.S. and depends on personal income taxes for 39 percent of its revenue. The data reflect people who filed their 2009 federal tax return in New Jersey and in 2010 filed in other states.

“You can accumulate assets in New Jersey -- you can build a career here -- but once that’s built you pretty much leave the state,” Furey said in a telephone interview.

At the same time as the “out-migration,” about 73,000 federal tax returns with adjusted gross income of $4.28 billion were added to the Garden State, the IRS data show. The net loss was 0.34 percent of 4.29 million returns and 0.41 percent of $308.5 billion in taxable income, according to the data.

Governor Chris Christie, a 51-year-old Republican who started a second term in January, has said he won’t increase the tax burden, even as a $2.4 billion public pensions payment scheduled for fiscal 2015 threatens to force cuts in education and public safety spending. He has asked lawmakers to go further on employee compensation changes enacted during his first term, though the Senate president, Democrat Stephen Sweeney of West Deptford, has said he won’t negotiate.

Christopher Donnelly, a spokesman for Sweeney, declined to comment on the report because he hadn’t read it. Michael Drewniak, Colin Reed and Kevin Roberts, spokesmen for Christie, didn’t respond to an e-mail request for comment.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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