Let’s not put New Jersey further into the red

Senator Steve Oroho ought to review two recent reports before he goes out on the limb to eliminate New Jersey’s estate tax. His proposal would further the “borrow and spend” approach to the state’s fiscal management that just isn’t working.

indebted_States1.pngFirst, not only does New Jersey have excruciating problems with under funded pensions and a depleted Transportation Trust Fund, it’s near the bottom of the list of all states when it comes to total debt already incurred.

“The overall picture painted by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ new “Fiscal 50” data isn’t pretty, with New Jersey ranking third worst in total debt, and also third worst in both unfunded pension and unfunded retiree-healthcare costs.”

And the estate tax Oroho seeks to eliminate was a major part of the reforms instituted over one hundred years ago by Theodore Roosevelt to meet growing wealth and income disparity similar to what we see today.

“As the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and those at the bottom and middle has widened in recent years, many states have eliminated their estate tax ― a key tool for reducing inequality and building broadly shared prosperity. States that have eliminated their estate tax should reinstate it and those with an estate tax should keep it and, if needed, improve it.”