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NJ Working Families State Director Sue Altman. (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe)

Progressive coalition seeks $3 billion in tax hikes

By Nikita Biryukov, February 18 2020 5:46 pm

A cadre of progressive groups launched a new coalition aiming to overhaul the state’s tax code in order to fund progressive policy priorities.

For the Many, which includes groups like NJ Working Families, NJ Policy Perspective and state branch of the Sierra Club, intends to seek more than $3 billion in tax increases to fund its policies, which include a new non-census-based school funding formula.

“This coalition is about using all of the tools at our disposal, including tax and budget policy, to advance equity and create an economy that works for everyone,” NJPP President Brandon McKoy said. “New Jersey’s experiment with trickle-down economic policies was a failure, and it’s time to roll back tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected so the state can make bold investments in its communities.”

The lion’s share of the proposed tax increases, a little more than $1 billion, comes from new tax brackets for the state’s high earners, beginning with those making more than $250,000 per year and ending with those making millions.

Gov. Phil Murphy has long sought a tax on the state’s millionaires, though he’s seen little in the way of success and much in the way of opposition.

That mean’s For the Many’s proposal is dead in the water from minute one, though NJPP senior policy analyst Sheila Reynertson said, without elaborating, that the group had other, tamer policies shelved for such a case.

The group is also advocating for the restoration of the sales tax to 7% and the reinstatement of the estate tax.

“New Jersey is the 12th most unequal state in the nation and according to the most recent ALICE report, nearly 40 percent or almost 2 out of every 5 New Jerseyans are struggling to get by,” said Renee Koubiadis, Executive Director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. “Inequality has been rising and our unfair tax system makes it worse. Our residents are struggling and we need to finally make the necessary investments to help people to move forward and contribute to a growing economy for New Jersey.”

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