Sheila Reynertson is a senior policy analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective.
She recently authored a report, “Road to Recovery: Reforming New Jersey’s Income Tax Code.”
State lawmakers can either balance the budget with deep cuts that will harm our communities, or they can make sure the wealthiest among us pay their fair share. The current tax code puts middle-class and low-paid families at a disadvantage. The reforms outlined in this report will help fix that, while also providing the state with more resources to get us out of this downturn. Currently, New Jersey’s middle-class families pay a higher share of their income in state and local taxes than the state’s Top 1% of earners (10.7% and 9.8%, respectively). NJPP’s proposal calls for the Top 1% to pay 10.8% of their annual income in state and local taxes. … The sustained protests against racial discrimination and police brutality against Black Americans have put state and local budgets in the spotlight. Fixing the tax code is the best way for lawmakers to put into practice the values and priorities we hold as a state. This moment presents a big opportunity for New Jersey.”