Source: Bergen Record Letter-to-the-Editor -
Regarding “Adjusting excessive limits on state inheritance tax” (Other Views, Jan. 21):
I applaud Assemblyman Joseph Lagana, D-Paramus, for recognizing the folly in the Democrats’ high-tax policies, and I hope this is not simply an election-year conversion. New Jersey residents are voting with their feet in reaction to excessive taxation, including the confiscatory and counterproductive “death taxes.”
A recent study found that many millionaire households have packed up and left our state. Millionaires account for one-half of 1 percent of all New Jersey taxpayers but contribute more than 25 percent of the state’s income tax revenue.
My Republican colleagues and I have been calling for a more sensible tax policy that will provide relief to the middle class and also help us keep top revenue producers. Reducing the tax burden is only the first step, however. To ensure that tax relief is sustainable, state government must be more protective of taxpayer dollars. For that purpose, I am introducing “The Revenue Responsibility Act” to ensure that in the future, taxpayer money will be managed carefully and fiscal priorities will be met efficiently.
The act would amend the state constitution to cap state appropriations at 1 percent above the appropriation of the previous year and limit state spending to 98.5 percent of revenues received using a five-year running average as a benchmark. Moreover, it would establish a surplus revenue fund that could be used only to address a huge debt such as funding for public employee pension liabilities or property tax relief.
By making New Jersey more hospitable for all, including high earners, we can combat the loss of revenue to competing states. And by constitutionally assuring responsible revenue management, New Jersey can become more efficient and economical for everyone.
Robert Auth Old Tappan, Jan. 28
The writer, a Republican, represents the 39th District in the New Jersey Assembly.