I sent the following letter to The Record in response to the front page story.
Regarding “Millionaires tax in NJ still sparks questions” (February 24, page 1A).
I moved into New Jersey just after the state income tax became law in 1976. The people were told that a modest virtually flat rate income tax would finally solve the property tax issue. Not surprisingly, for more than four decades income tax rates have become more “progressive,” meaning that the highest rates have increasing faster than the lowest rates.
However, property taxes have continued to rise for more than four decades because local spending, primarily on schools and law enforcement, also have increased at unsustainable rates, despite the 2% cap on local property tax increases of the past few years.
In short, state government spending has been increasing faster than people’s incomes, and to pay for the increasing burden on the people of New Jersey Trenton politicians have focused their “takings” on the most successful individuals and families in our state.
The solution to the unconscionable tax burden on the people of New Jersey – and the continuing exodus of middle and high-income earners – is nothing short of a “cultural revolution.” This is the theme of Frank Chodorov’s classic critique of the income tax in 1954, The Income Tax: The Root of All Evil.
The truth of the matter is taxing Peter to pay Paul reflects the redistributionist philosophy of the political class, and unfortunately the public’s embrace (even Republicans are jumping on the high-tax train) reveals the successful propaganda of the left-wing agenda of the past century.