Press Release – Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerset) issued the following statement today:
“It seems like what we needed all these years for there to be ‘tax reform’ is a Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) crisis.
“While we absolutely need a reliable, pay-as-you-go funding source for the TTF, most in Trenton still willfully ignore the other side of the equation – innovative and fair approaches to better control and prioritize spending. Until we get serious about both, we will not fix the state’s fiscal crisis.
“Certainly, there is something in this new TTF deal for everyone – the poor (EITC), the well-off (estate tax), retirees, veterans, etc. However, what we really need is comprehensive tax reform that is revenue neutral and economy stimulating. Yes, eliminating estate taxes and increasing retirement income exclusions are a good start. A great finish would be allowing for the carryforward of capital losses, never taxing the gain on the sale of a primary residence (or second home if it has never been used for commercial purposes) and making the first $1 to $5 million of gain on the sale of a small/family business tax-free. These tax cuts can be paid for by restructuring our tax rates and closing the combined reporting loophole for corporations. We should then look to phase out the corporate business tax over a 10-year period.
“In addition, we need reform school funding, modify post-retirement healthcare benefits for public employees and make our pension system solvent. This would ultimately reduce property taxes, which is everyone’s #1 concern.
“Dating back to 2012, I advocated for a responsible approach to funding the TTF. This new TTF deal, however, is more seductive than compelling.
“I cannot bring myself to solve the TTF, which is in crisis due to the irresponsibility of Trenton politicians, by now increasing the gas tax 23 cents. That is 164% overnight. This increase will also significantly raise the cost of numerous products and services New Jerseyans buy every single day.
“The new TTF deal is also terribly flawed. For example, a retired couple making $100,000 in annual retirement income will pay no income tax, but a middle class couple with two kids making $80,000 annually will pay income tax? Where’s the social and economic justice in that? Only in Trenton.”