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Corzine's bad idea

Well that didn't take long. He's been governor for what, like 5 minutes now? Looks like my fears of a Corzine tax hike have already been justified.

Let's set aside the issue of whether a state with one of the largest tax burdens in the country can justify any additional taxes for a moment, and just look at some of the specific proposals that Corzine's team is floating.

At the top of the list seems to be a sales tax on clothing.

I think this is fairly obviously a bad idea. For starters, New Jersey's retail sector and tax base benefit substantially from the flood of people who cross the bridges and tunnels every day, fleeing the high prices of the city to shop here in New Jersey. I can't see how it's a good idea to remove that incentive when you're so worried about the financial health of this state.

Second, it's hard to claim that such a tax is not regressive. Poor people have to buy clothes just as surely as rich people do. Granted, rich people buy more expensive clothing, but it still represents a much larger percentage of total income for the poor and middle class, particularly since poorer families tend to be larger families as well.

Granted, these are all just proposals so far, but given the absence of a viable opposition party in this state, I doubt these new taxes will face many obstacles. Who wants to tackle the hard work of fixing Jersey's fiscal infrastructure and rooting out graft and corruption, when it's so much easier simply to reach further down our pockets?


Didn't I read yesterday that Corzine had immediately discounted the idea of a clothing tax?

I still think that Florio might have pulled off his changes if he had just left paper (i.e. TP) products out of it and left them tax exempt.

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