Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald calls for “a 20 percent property tax relief credit to homeowners of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid for all homeowners earning up to $250,000 per year” in a March 11 op-ed (The Record). This plan would be phased in over years, according to Greenwald, “and it would be funded by asking New Jersey’s millionaires to pay their fair share.” What is a millionaire’s “fair share” in taxes? Greenwald does not define, identify his redistributionist heist.
Mr. Greenwald’s data show that this plan would provide greater middle class tax relief than Governor Christie’s ten percent across the board income tax cut. Great. So let’s have a bipartisan compromise, for now. An income tax cut and a property tax cut. Upper income residents will have more incentive to stay in New Jersey as their income taxes are cut, while keeping more of their money to invest in new business ventures or expand their current enterprises. Middle income homeowners will get much needed tax relief and will not be forced out of their houses because of ever rising property taxes. As Greenwald admits, “high property taxes are the cancer that is killing our state; it is the tax without a conscience. “
If the Majority Leader believes that the property tax is “without a conscience,” then why does he not call for its abolition? Shouldn’t “unconscionable “ things, acts be abolished immediately or ASAP because they violate our sensibilities?
The governor’s tax plan and the Democrats’ proposal should be the initial steps in abolishing both the income tax and property tax. Both taxes have negative consequences for the economy and the people’s income and wealth. Taxes deprive all taxpayers with the means to provide for themselves and their families. And one of the most important social and economic goals we all should strive for is financial independence—a virtue that everyone across the political spectrum should support.
Yet, politicians from both major political parties have embraced policies that make a substantial portion of the population dependent on government for basic necessities. The entitlement and dependency culture must be phased out or we risk become a mega Greece. In addition, the abolition of the state income tax and property taxes will mean that the people will be in charge of how much they want to pay for their children’s education and local police services.
Without taxes to redistribute (the income tax) and property taxes to pay for municipal services, we would eliminate the cost of tax collections, a substantial savings at the state and local levels. Then, all public services would have to be paid for by the people–voluntarily–according to the venerable law of supply and demand.
In the final analysis, lowering taxes requires lowering spending, an oversight that Mr. Greenwald blatantly ignores. Raising taxes on millionaires will not solve New Jersey’s unconscionable property taxes. But abolishing income and property taxes means no more political posturing over taxes and gimmicks like rebate checks, no more redistribution of income and most importantly putting the people in charge of how much they want to spend on schools and local police.