The negative economics of New Jersey

Federal taxes

What can be done to reverse the negative economics of New Jersey?

From World Population Review, “New Jersey is home to more scientists and engineers per square mile than any other area of the world. It’s also one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse states in the US, with the second largest Jewish population (after New York state), the second largest Muslim population (after the state of Michigan), the largest population of Peruvians in the country, and the largest population of Cubans outside of the state of Florida. It also boasts very high numbers of Portuguese and Brazilian Americans, Hispanics, Arabs, African-Americans, Asians, Chinese and Italian Americans.

So we have a fairly diverse population and a lot of people who make decent money. And yet New Jersey faces a crisis. Per New Jersey Future, “Recent Census figures confirm that New Jersey’s population growth, until recently a standout in the largely stagnant Northeast, has begun to slow. In fact, without the influx of international immigrants, New Jersey’s population growth rate between 2000 and 2005 would have been an anemic 0.3 percent, as opposed to the actual rate of 3.6 percent. Net domestic out-migration from New Jersey to other states nearly cancels out the natural rate of population increase.” Why is this happening? It is a well known fact that New Jersey taxes are the highest in the nation and economically things are not getting any better because of a hostile business climate.

From a report by New Jersey Future they made the follow recommendations:

• Reform the property tax system, to reduce NJ’s reliance on property taxes and
so reduce the incentive for fiscal zoning that restricts housing choice.
• Reform zoning, to create a wider variety of housing opportunities in suburban and
especially exurban counties, so that fewer people are priced out of western NJ entirely.
• Reinvest in infrastructure and service quality in already-developed areas, to reduce
the incentive for people to leave.
• Create new housing opportunities in already-built places, by reusing former
commercial and industrial properties.
• Encourage higher densities in newly developing areas, to minimize the consumption
of open space.
• Encourage infill and a greater variety of housing types in the counties currently
being leapfrogged – Hunterdon, Sussex, Warren. This is why it is critical that the
regional master plan for the Highlands should designate areas where growth will be
encouraged, not just identify areas where growth is disallowed.
• Encourage job recentralization, with the creation of new sub-centers that are
transit accessible, to reduce traffic and commuting headaches.

I will add my own to this list, although I don’t agree with the last three from above, one reevaluate the idea of how the pension system is being handled and switch to a 401 for future employees. Too much money is being thrown at a broken pension system that can not sustain itself much longer, in the mean time it is a very large drag on New Jersey’s fiances. Two the state much encourage businesses to come into the state without the threat of taxing them to death after they establish themselves here. Three the state legislature must stop thinking that they can spend the people’s money like it was their own, to that end there must be public published bi-yearly audits of all expenditures to keep the wasting of tax dollars down.

And finally the Supreme Court of New Jersey must stop pushing their agenda of spending money on failing school districts like water and forcing the building of low income housing in areas where it makes no sense to do so. IE, where there is no public transportation available and in areas where there are no low income jobs.

That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike

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