Hard-earned money should be put into people’s pockets, not taxed away.

• Fact #1:  New Jersey Has Nation’s Third-Highest Tax Burden.  State residents pay 12.2 percent of their income and $6,926 per capita on state and local taxes, according to the Tax Foundation.

• Fact #2:  Forbes Ranked New Jersey The Third Most Taxed State In The Nation.  But revenue per capita is only 12th nationwide despite high tax rates, according to the Tax Foundation.

• Fact #3:  Two Million People Have Moved Because Of High Taxes.  A 2016 NJBIA study found that 2.09 million residents left the state from 2005 to 2014, taking with them $18.4 billion in personal income.

It is no secret that New Jersey is among the highest cost-of-living states and at the top of nearly every tax ranking – an 8.97 percent state income tax, 9 percent corporate-income tax and 6.875 percent sales tax, as well as the highest property taxes in the nation.

We not only tax job creators out of the state, but increase taxes on those who can’t afford it.  For example, New Jersey doesn’t index income taxes, forcing people into higher brackets even without making more money.

Assembly Republicans have proposed legislation that would lower the tax burden and make the state affordable for its citizens, all while creating jobs to ensure economic security.

Republican Solutions to Lower Taxes:

Stopping Automatic Tax Hikes.  Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz sponsors legislation to index state income taxes to inflation.  When brackets aren’t tied to inflation, income rises past fixed tax rates – forcing people into higher tax brackets even though they aren’t making more money.  Indexing has been used by the federal government since 1986; it’s time New Jersey does the same. 

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Provide Access To Affordable Healthcare While Lowering Their Tax Rates.  Assemblymen Christopher DePhillips and Kevin J. Rooney sponsor legislation extending federal income tax advantages of health savings accounts to taxpayers under the state income tax.  

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Raise The Homestead Property Tax Deduction.   Homestead benefits have fallen far behind in recent years.  Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz sponsors legislation to raise the deduction to $17,000 with annual inflation increases, to give property taxpayers more of the help they need.

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Reduce Income Taxes 10% Percent Over Three Years.  New Jersey is simply unaffordable for anyone from millennials to seniors.  Assemblyman Jon Bramnick sponsors legislation reducing income taxes gradually by ten percent over three years to put more money in taxpayer’s pockets – the Assembly Republicans’ number one goal.

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Investigate Why Businesses Are Leaving New Jersey.  The high tax burden is driving job creators out of the state.  In the past decade, over two-million residents have left New Jersey, taking $20.7 billion in net adjusted gross income, $13.1 billion in economic activity, nearly 87,00 jobs and $4.6 billion in labor income. This bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Bramnick.  

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Credit Tax Refunds To Lower Property Taxes.  This common sense bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, will account for all of your taxes paid to help reduce the highest property tax burden in the nation.  If you pay too much in income tax, you will pay that much less in property taxes.  

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Let’s work toward a business climate that creates jobs and spurs growth for a prosperous economy.

•  Fact #1:  Median Income In New Jersey Remains Stagnant.  New Jersey median income has remained relatively flat since 2011 and is 5.75 percent lower than before the recession in 2007, according data released in Sept. 2016 by the U.S. Census.

•  Fact #2:  In The Past Decade, New Jersey’s Economy Has Had Only 1% Job Growth.  Meanwhile, the national average is 5.8 percent, New York’s is 9.3 percent; Pennsylvania’s is 2.7 percent; and Delaware had 4.6 percent job growth.

•  Fact #3:  Census Data Shows New Jersey’s Population Growth Is Half The National Average.  Over 16 percent more people are moving out of the state than in, according to national moving company Atlas Van Lines.

New Jersey is ranked the worst state in the nation to run a business, according to the Tax Foundation.  Given the high tax rates and never ending regulations that hamper small businesses and drive larger businesses out of state, this comes as no surprise.  Fortunately, the problems aren’t hard to fix.

The simple solution is to lower taxes and reduce regulations.  New Jersey has a top corporation tax and capital gains rate of 9 percent that hurts investment and kills jobs.  Further, according to the Pacific Research Institute, New Jersey has the second-most burdensome regulations – only behind California.

To create jobs, you need economic opportunity.  Join the Assembly Republicans in advocating for a prosperous, job creating New Jersey economy with lower taxes and less regulation.

Republican Solutions to Create Jobs:

Make Jobs An Opportunity Instead Of A Regulation.  To qualify for incentives to relocate to New Jersey, the state requires businesses to provide at least 250 jobs. If a company can’t meet that threshold it can’t move here, creating no jobs at all.  Assemblywoman Munoz’s bill cuts that number in half so more businesses can move and create New Jersey jobs.

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Reduce Capital Costs To Create Jobs.  Assemblywoman Munoz sponsors legislation providing a tax credit worth 20 percent of capital improvements in a manufacturing facility to help keep those jobs in-state.

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Stop Overregulating Business.  New Jersey’s high cost of business is attributable to high taxes and overregulation.  Assemblyman Parker Space aims to put a decade long ban on regulations to relieve that burden and make our state more affordable for businesses.

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Allow Income To Pass Through S Corps To Shareholders.  The federal tax code allows a business to pass through income to shareholders, but New Jersey does not.  S corps in New Jersey must pay the corporation business tax, a disincentive for companies to open.  Assemblyman Erik Peterson’s legislation conforming to the federal tax code will create that incentive.

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Enable More Apprenticeships With Tax Credits.  Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield aims to encourage employers to add highly skilled workers to New Jersey’s workforce.  Providing a $1,000 credit for up to 4 years will provide job training in manufacturing, healthcare and energy among others.

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Every patient should have access to quality health care at a cost they can afford.

•  Fact #1:  New Jerseyans pay twice as much for health care than a decade ago. The NJ Business and Industry Association estimates that for every one percent increase in cost, 8,000 fewer people can afford health care.

•  Fact #2:  48 states pay less for health care than New Jersey, according to a commonwealth fund report.  And New Jersey was one of 10 states with 6 percent premium cost growth between 2010 and 2013.

•  Fact #3:  70 percent of doctors trained in New Jersey leave.  Even though, since 2011, funding for graduate medical programs to retain doctors has more than tripled from $60 million to $188 million.

Two of the largest problems today are health care costs and accessibility.  The Medicaid expansion helped, but as more doctors have rejected patients due to lack of payment and left the state, the same problems are back.

Assembly Republicans have a plan to fix them.  To ensure vigorous competition in health care; hospitals and insurance companies should provide transparency so consumers can know the cost of treatments and what their insurance will cover before they agree to them.  Likewise, individuals and small businesses should be empowered to purchase insurance over state lines to increase competition.

Democrats, who control both houses in the legislature, increased taxes and surcharges on health care and insurance coverage five times between 2004 and 2009, which resulted in a $1,500 cost increase per capita.  Reversing those increases is an easy start toward affordable health care – and affordable health care is accessible health care.

Republican Solutions to Provide Affordable and Accessible Health Care:

Block The Federal Mandate Forcing Government-Approved Health Insurance In New Jersey.  Families and health care providers are the key to real reform, not lawyers and government bureaucrats.  Assemblyman John DiMaio sponsors an amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit state law from mandating health care coverage.

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Improve Competition By Allowing Physicians and Insurance Companies To Negotiate Costs.  Insurance carriers buy a substantial amount of patient benefit plans to reduce cost, making it more difficult for physicians to deliver quality care that is more expensive out of plan.  Assemblyman Bramnick sponsors this legislation to bring down the cost of quality health care and make benefit plans better by allowing these differences to be negotiated, a win-win for patients and consumers.

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Allow The Purchase Of Affordable Coverage Across State Lines.  Individuals who buy their own health insurance plan, and many small employers, are limited to how much coverage they can buy.  In New Jersey, a family HMO costs $1,652 per month, while a family can buy a HMO plan in Pennsylvania for $707 per month.  Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber and Assemblywomen DeCroce and Munoz would allow insurers licensed in other states to offer coverage to individuals and employers to provide New Jersey residents with access to a wider range of affordable health benefits plans.

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Require Insurers To Reimburse All Costs For Emergency Medical Services. Too often emergency room costs aren’t covered when patients are treated in an out-patient office. In emergency situations, patients don’t always have the option of going to a specific provider. Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi sponsors a bill to provide emergency services and treat them the same no matter the circumstances.

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Allow Small Businesses To Purchase Group Health Plans. Small businesses aren’t offered the same rate savings given to larger employers.  Assemblyman Edward Thomson sponsors legislation that will make savings accessible for more small businesses and improve healthcare for their employees with better plans at lower costs.

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It’s time to bring down the barriers to a quality education and equal funding.

•  Fact #1:  New Jersey is one of the top 3 highest spending states per student.  And has the second lowest student-teacher ratio in the nation, according to the National Education Association.

•  Fact #2:  Of the $13.8 billion that goes to education funding, only $9.2 billion – 27 percent of the state budget – goes to student needs.   56 percent of state aid will go to 31 districts, encompassing less than a quarter of students.

•  Fact #3:  The gap in state test scores and graduation rates hasn’t closed between failing and successful districts in 30 years.  Despite failing SDA districts receiving $98 billion more funding.

While the majority of our schoolchildren continue to perform above most other states, too many in the educational establishment use that as camouflage for abject failure elsewhere in New Jersey.

More funding has not created better grades for underachieving districts, and proposing more funding is just doing the same thing over, and over again and expecting a different result.  Einstein would have called that insanity, we call that Democrat solutions.

Parents, who are primarily responsible for the education of their children, reject the one-size-fits-all approach to education.  They call for choice-based, parent-driven accountability at every stage of schooling, which affirms higher expectations for all students and rejects the crippling bigotry of low expectations.  They recognize the wisdom of local control of our schools and reject excessive testing and “teaching to the test,” and they support strong assessments so teachers can tailor teaching to meet student needs.

Republican Solutions Improving Education:

Provide Grants For Special-Ed Students With In-District Education.  One of the greatest costs to school districts is placing special education students in out-of-district programs.  Assemblyman Rooney aims to reduce those costs while allowing the student to stay close to home when going to school by providing grants to fund state-of-the-art programs for special education students.

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Provide Scholarships To Low Income Children.  Assemblymen Sean Kean, Bramnick and Assemblywoman Munoz sponsor the “Opportunity Scholarship Act” to help low-income students get the best education possible.  By providing tax credits to scholarship contributors, more scholarships can be awarded to the parents and students who need it the most.

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Dedicate Income Taxes To Fund Schools.  Assemblymen DiMaio and Peterson sponsor this legislation to lower property taxes and provide a steady stream of funding for our schools.  A study by the state League of Municipalities found that dedicating the income tax to school funding would cut property taxes by 35 percent across the board, and would increase school funding by $500 million; a simple solution to two big problems.

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Homeowners and renters are crushed by nation-high property taxes, now is the time to fix it.

•  Fact #1:  New Jerseyans Pay Twice As Much For The Same Home Value. According to a 2016 WalletHub study, which ranked real-estate tax rankings by state, New Jersey has the highest property tax rate as a percentage of home price at 2.38 percent – almost double the national average.

•  Fact #2:  The Average Property Tax Bill Eats Up 15% of Annual Personal Income.  Homeowners paid an average $8,363 property tax bill in 2015, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, while the average worker’s salary is nearly $54,000.

•  Fact #3:  7 of the 10 counties with the highest property taxes nationwide are in New Jersey.  The real estate website Zillow looked at median property taxes across the U.S. in 2015 and found that Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Union, Morris, Hudson and Hunterdon counties and three counties in New York had the highest property taxes.

Republicans have been trying to take action on property taxes for over a decade while Democrats sit idly and do nothing but increase spending elsewhere.  In that time, the only meaningful reform was Governor Christie’s 2 percent cap on property tax collections and a package of bills called the tool-kit that have yet to be posted by the majority.

Despite constant spending increases on non-essential functions of government, little has been done to fully fund programs designed to reduce property tax burdens.  Even these under-funded programs are not enough to help taxpayers.  New Jersey has systemic inefficiencies that continue to drive higher property taxes.

Lower property taxes can be achieved with meaningful civil service reform, ending paid sick leave for public employees and shared-services among municipalities.  Republicans have proposed the plans, help us enact them.

Republican Property Tax Solutions:

End Sick Time Payouts Costing Taxpayers Billions.  When public employees retire, they get paid for every sick day they do not use.  For some, that payment has been as high as $250,000 just for living a healthy life over the employee’s career.  Add up all the retirees with a $7,500 cap on payouts and the cost to the state would still be roughly $3.25 billion.  Assemblywoman Munoz want to end this practice and save taxpayer money.

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Allow Municipalities To Use Realty Transfer Fees For Property Tax Relief.  Assemblywoman Munoz sponsors legislation to use the undedicated portions of the state realty transfer fee to be allocated to each municipality to lower the town’s property tax burden.

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Ending Extravagant Public Employee Costs.  State civil service laws are arcane and expensive.  These laws artificially increase employee costs and make it difficult for local governments to effectively manage local workforces, especially in fiscal crises.  The accrued liability for New Jersey and municipalities combined reaches $1 billion.  Assemblyman Space aims to end the arcane civil service system.

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Increase the Income Limit For Senior And Disabled.  The last time income and tax deduction limits were increased for seniors and the disabled was 1983.  That’s why Assemblymen Bramnick and Webber sponsor legislation to increase the income limit to $25,000 and the deduction to $500.

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Dedicating The Income Tax To Fund Schools.  Assemblymen DiMaio, Peterson and Wolfe sponsor this legislation to lower property taxes and provide a steady stream of funding for our schools.  A study by the state League of Municipalities found that dedicating the income tax to school funding would cut property taxes by 35 percent across the board, and would increase school funding by $500 million; a simple solution to two big problems.

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Hold A Special Legislative Session To Relieve Property Taxes.  There is a dire need to reform property taxes and the never-ending inaction by the Legislature stifles the state economy and hurts homeowners and renters, young and old. That’s why Assemblymen Bramnick, Space and Hal Wirths sponsor a resolution urging Democrats to work with us for a solution to the number one problem in the state.

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Individual rights – and the responsibilities that go with them – are the foundation of a free society.

We firmly believe that everyone is created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights to freely pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  There is no place for discrimination and unequal treatment under the law.

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