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NJ Policy Persepctive Pres.: No Evidence Wealthy Leaving NJ

3-12-14

After a recent report by Region Atlantic on New Jersey and taxes, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick had said that high taxes were making some of New Jersey’s wealthiest move out of state. New Jersey Policy Perspective President Gordon MacInnes told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that there was no evidence to support that claim.

“There’s certainly no evidence in the report that he is citing that’s the case,” said MacInnes. “This is sort of a marketing report, policy and analytical report. That’s not something that you can really rely on for information that’s there.”

MacInnes said that the report was more of a collection of stories and that the facts are countered by the headlines within the report.

According to MacInnes, there will be some cases where people move out of state seeking lower taxes. He also said that the Region Atlantic report says that it does not offer any evidence or proof that tax rates in New Jersey are encouraging wealthy residents to move.

“We also find that it concludes with the fact that it says there is a small outflow of high income households but the number of such households is growing significantly,” said MacInnes. “So how do you put those two findings together with this headline and these stories that are told?”

In a recent interview, Bramnick said that the state’s wealthiest residents are leaving and were being replaced with residents who make half the income. According to MacInnes, some New Jersey residents when they retire want to go to warmer places and somewhere where housing is cheaper, for example Florida. He also said that the report ignored New York and the fact that some move to New Jersey from New York.

MacInnes has criticized Gov. Chris Christie in the past, proclaiming that the problem in New Jersey is its high taxes and government. If both were to shrink, MacInnes said that the state would be better off.

According to MacInnes, the state is not doing badly in terms of losing people. The number of people leaving the state is small, he said, and the report is deflecting attention from the assets that the state has that make it an attractive place for people to live and work — location, transportation infrastructure, one of the best educated workforces in the country and great research universities.