Gloomy Economic Forecast for NJ, Report Says [AUDIO]
New Jersey is not doing well when it comes to economic performance and its economic outlook is worsening, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council's "Rich States, Poor States" report.
The report ranks competitiveness of states on two pillars: Economic Performance, which is a "backward-forward looking" measure, and Economic Outlook, which is a "foreword looking" forecast. For two years running, the Garden State has ranked 48th on Economic Performance, but this year the state's Economic Outlook dropped to 45th from 39th.
"New Jersey is not a competitive state when it comes to most of the tax burden, minus the sales tax," said Will Freeland, research analyst in the Center for State Fiscal Reform at ALEC. "The top rates high when it comes to the personal income tax and the corporate income tax, which is a very progressive tax. New Jersey is also dead last when it comes to the property tax burden; the state also has an estate tax and hasn't embraced worker freedom. It's also got a pretty high minimum wage."
In fact, the minimum wage recently went up by $1. The state has not changed its approach to property taxes, either, according to Freeland.
"We also measure how much in tax cuts or tax increases that a state took on every year," he said. "Last year, New Jersey had a decent-sized tax cut. That went the other direction this year. Some other states also took some positive steps which brought them up in the rankings, and that played a role as well."
"The barrage of bad news keeps coming, and it's clear Trenton is failing New Jerseyans miserably," said Mike Proto, Americans for Prosperity spokesman. "The ALEC report is just the latest in a slew of poor fiscal and economic rankings, coupled with numerous downgrades from Fitch, Moody's and S&P."
"The problem is, those in charge in Trenton seem to turn a deaf ear to all of this news and seem hellbent on pursuing the same failing policies that are destroying opportunity and eroding the economic well-being of New Jersey families," Proto said.
Utah ranked first on the list for Economic Outlook, while Texas was number one for Economic Performance.
To see the report in its entirety, visit www.alec.org.