Some N.J. lawmakers say tax code changes will weigh unfairly on Garden State

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican (AP, file)

The Republican-led tax code overhaul plan would eliminate deductions for state and local income taxes and property taxes.

But U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance said his party’s proposal will put Garden State taxpayers at a financial disadvantage.

“We have average property tax bills in this state of $8,400. In the district I serve, it’s higher than that,” Lance said Monday. “In the country, as a whole, it’s $2,400.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat, said it would cost the average New Jersey resident about $3,500 a year.

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“More than four in 10 New Jersey taxpayers deduct their state and local income taxes from their returns each year,” he said. “There is no benefit in this reform proposal before us that outweighs the cost to homeowners and working families across the state.

“We subsidize other states, and now they want us to give even more. We’re a donor state,” Pascrell said. “New Jersey gets back 38 cents for every tax dollar it gives to Washington.”

Eliminating state and local tax deductions was discussed more than 30 years ago, the last time the U.S. tax code changed significantly.

“I think our leadership wants to move relatively quickly. I do not predict this is going to move quickly,” Lance said. “The last time there was major tax reform was in 1985-86. It took two years and it was bipartisan.”

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