An idea previously brushed aside by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has resurfaced as New Jersey lawmakers examine his state budget proposal. There’s been renewed discussion of reviving an income tax surcharge on millionaires.
Some Democrats in the Legislature say increasing the tax on millionaires would make them part of the shared sacrifice many residents face because of budget cuts.
Republicans say the 1 percent of people with the highest incomes already pay 40 percent of the income tax.
“Trying to put the millionaires’ tax through again to try to pay for the schools doesn’t even add up,” said Tony Bucco, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “You don’t get enough out of the millionaires’ tax to pay for the school funding that’s needed.”
Senate budget committee chairman Paul Sarlo said Monday that even with concerns about school funding he’s not sure if the millionaires’ tax will make it into the budget.
“I think there’s some big questions that need to be answered. What will happen if the courts rule against the governor?” he said. “What would happen if some of their proposed $500 million savings in Medicaid don’t come to fruition?”
The Office of Legislative Services said there’s no data to confirm whether the high tax rate in New Jersey is causing millionaires to leave the state. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Treasury Department to study whether that is happening.