Bills lowering taxes on retirement income, estates advance in N.J.

Taxes on New Jersey residents’ retirement income and on their estates could be reduced under legislation advancing in the Democrat-led Legislature.

The Senate Budget Committee on Monday approved the bills, which would phase in an income-tax exemption of up to $100,000 over three years and phase out the estate tax over five years.

Married couples can now exempt only $20,000 if filing jointly.

New Jersey’s estate tax exemption of $675,000 is the lowest in the country.

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Republican Gov. Chris Christie has called for abolishing estate taxes and says any hike in the gas tax must be offset by cuts.

Democrats say they hope the legislation demonstrates they are serious about cutting taxes, with the ultimate aim of raising the gas tax to pay for the state’s troubled transportation trust fund.

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