New Jersey could be on the verge of introducing a new kind of income tax, with a state lawmaker saying the proposal has been discussed by the Department of Taxation.
The legislature passed the bill, which is a response to the governor’s request for a more progressive tax system in the state, last week.
New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie, who took office last month, called for a $20 increase in taxes in 2017, but his office said he hasn’t put his bill on the governor’tional agenda.
Christie is a Republican, and his administration has been pushing for a larger tax burden on those making $250,000 or more.
The governor has called for more revenue from the sales tax to pay for the new income taxes.
“I’ve been trying to look at ways to tax our way out of this,” state Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, said on the Senate floor Tuesday.
“It’s not the right time to do it.”NJ Gov.
Christie, right, speaks with state Sen.-elect Mark Siegelman, D-Bergen, during a town hall meeting with local officials in Trenton, N.J., Wednesday, May 11, 2019.
Menendez says the state could adopt a new revenue stream.
Christie says the governor doesn’t have his ear on any of his proposed taxes.
New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has also called for an income tax system, saying New York’s top earners pay a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes.
De Blasio said his city is considering an income levy on high-income earners, but he didn’t elaborate on what it might look like.
De Blasio is running for reelection in 2020, and the state Senate voted to add an income exemption to New York City property taxes, a proposal that passed in the Assembly last week but hasn’t been approved by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Delegate Mark Lunsford, a Republican who chairs the state Assembly Budget Committee, said he was “confident” the revenue could be raised by taxing high earners.
He said the income exemption, which was created in the 1930s to help finance pensions, would allow New Yorkers to make up for the higher income they would be forced to pay if they didn’t qualify for a retirement savings plan.
“This could be a huge benefit for our state,” Lunsftford said.
“This is something that has been talked about for years and years, and it’s not going to happen without the support of the governor.”
In a statement, New Jersey Treasurer Mike Fusco said the new proposal “has not yet been approved” by the Legislature and will not be included in its fiscal year budget until 2019.
The revenue would be used to help fund education and health programs, Fuso said.
New Jersey has about 1.3 million residents who earn between $75,000 and $200,000, and nearly half of them are below the poverty line.
New Brunswick’s new Democratic governor, Stacey Abrams, has said the state would have to consider raising property taxes on the wealthiest residents.
New Hampshire has been working on a similar proposal, and Republican lawmakers are expected to take up a proposal to tax property owners who are able to contribute more than $500,000.