Poll: New Jerseyans feel overtaxed, displeased with how state handles financial issues

By Emily Bader
New Jersey | Apr 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm

New Jerseyans have strong opinions when it comes to taxes and the affordability of living in the Garden State, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, conducted in collaboration with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

About eight in ten (82%) of the New Jerseyans surveyed said they pay too much in taxes for what they get and most say the taxes they pay – property taxes (79%), the 41.1 cent gas tax (77%) and the state income tax (62%) – are unfair. The only tax that sits well with residents is the sales tax, with more than half (58%) that said its reasonable. 

“The answer is clear – New Jerseyans want reform when it comes to taxes,” NJBIA CEO and President Michele Siekerka said. “Overburdened residents and businesses are sounding the alarm that they have had enough and don’t feel they’re getting high value for what they pay.”

Residents also said the state government isn’t doing enough to relieve financial pressures.

About eight in ten are either somewhat or very dissatisfied with how the government is handling the cost of living and affordability (81%) and taxes (78%). More than half are unhappy with how the government is handling the state budget (57%) and business and employment opportunities (52%).

“When it comes to residents’ overwhelming frustration with taxes and other financial issues in the state, little has changed in the past year and a half,” Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “New Jerseyans across the board – Democrats and Republicans alike – continue to be upset with what it costs to live in this state, what the government is doing about it, and with the idea of any new taxes.”

The poll contacted 1,203 New Jersey adults between March 7 and 22. The margin of error is +/- 3.7 percentage points.

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | emilybader