It’s time to talk about the impact that the President’s environmental policies and his tax cut plan will have on NJ residents and our quality of life.
First, last year, each NJ resident sent $2,659 more to Washington in taxes than she got back in federal spending, more than any other state. In total, we each averaged $18,367 in federal income taxes. That's $4,316 above the national average of $14,051. Only NY, CT and MA pay more.
There are plenty of good reasons why we are a “donor” State. Compared to many others, we have a comparatively healthy, educated and employed population.
However, it is striking that per dollar in Federal taxes paid, NJ ranks 45th on the list of Federal Contracts received, 45th in Federal grants, and 49th in “other” Federal Financial assistance.
All the more galling, then, to see the health of NJ residents put at risk by some of the budget and policy changes proposed and made at the EPA. The cuts could affect, for example, the clean-up of 14 Superfund Sites (we have more superfund sites than any other state). Further, Drew Tompkins of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. tells us “the proposed cuts to the EPA's clean-water programs could have devastating effects on the Delaware River and the people who depend on it for their drinking-water supply and livelihoods.”
We do not yet know the details behind the President’s planned tax cuts. We do know that as originally proposed, $1.3 trillion of the cost of those cuts would be financed by eliminating the State and Local Income Tax deduction for filers who itemize their IRS returns, a deduction taken by 53.3% of NJ7 taxpayers, per Forbes Magazine. The majority of NJ District 7 residents could therefore end up with the privilege of paying even more, and receiving even less, to live in a State that is home to some of the most polluted land and water in the country.
We need a Congressional Representative prepared to stand up for New Jersey, and for the public interest of our citizenry in maintaining and improving the quality of our air and water.