Taxes, Infrastructure and Pensions Should Be Top Focus for NJ’s Next Governor Say New Jersey CPAs

 – September 21, 2017
Taxes, Infrastructure and Pensions Should Be Top Focus for NJ’s Next Governor Say New Jersey CPAs

Members to Make Actionable Recommendations in Follow-up Survey

ROSELAND, N.J. – More than 70 percent of the 1,031 New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) members who were surveyed in August and September said New Jersey’s next governor should make reducing property taxes a top-five priority, and 31 percent ranked it as the number-one priority. The remaining top-five priorities in order consisted of improving the state’s infrastructure; converting public pensions to 401(k)s; auditing state agencies and programs for overspending and waste; and combining municipalities or increasing the use of shared services.    

“Taxes, whether for one’s house, business, income or in regards to exemptions or other incentives, are key concerns for New Jersey residents and businesses,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA. “Similarly, the state’s pension debt, at close to $50 billion, is on every member’s mind. CPAs, in particular, understand what these issues mean to the future of New Jersey.”

Other priorities for the next governor by order of importance included modifying the school funding formula; increasing tax exemptions and incentives for retirees to keep them in the state; eliminating the inheritance tax or increasing the exemption amount; and evaluating corporate tax levels.

The survey was part of a three-part series of questions designed to inform the next New Jersey governor what issues need to be addressed from a CPA’s perspective. After ranking the issues, members will be asked to provide specific, actionable ideas based on those priorities. A new survey seeking to collect tangible recommendations regarding those priorities will be going out to members in the next few weeks.

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  • Detailed survey results appear below.
  • Ralph Thomas, CEO and executive director of the NJCPA, is available for interviews on these survey results. Contact Rachael Bell at or 973-226-4494 x220.

Detailed Survey Results

  • Respondents were asked to rank their top five priorities from the list of 16.
  • The numbers in the Priority columns indicate the number of respondents who selected that recommendation for each priority level.
  • The Total column indicates the total number of times the recommendation was selected among the respondents’ top five.
  • To determine the Rank, results were weighted based on votes for each priority level.


Rank Recommendation Priority #1 Priority #2 Priority #3 Priority #4 Priority #5 Total
1 Reduce property taxes 317 178 87 80 60 722
2 Improve the state's infrastructure - roads, bridges, tunnels, public transportation 117 85 120 120 87 529
3 Convert public pensions to 401(k)s 122 77 79 67 67 412
4 Audit state agencies and programs for overspending, waste and revenue allocation 91 75 91 91 102 450
5 Combine municipalities and/or school districts or increase use of shared services 60 107 91 90 83 431
6 Reduce NJ personal income tax rates 64 86 71 68 48 337
7 Modify the school funding formula 43 74 71 56 42 286
8 Increase tax exemptions and incentives for retirees to keep them in NJ 43 61 53 82 75 314
9 Eliminate inheritance tax or increase exemption amount 27 54 82 52 81 296
10 Evaluate corporate tax levels to create level playing field compared to other states 28 48 59 72 57 264
11 Create more tax incentives for businesses 23 46 57 56 38 220
12 Make NJ colleges/universities more affordable 36 31 45 47 55 214
13 Legalize and tax recreational marijuana 33 28 22 33 64 180
14 Implement tort reform to limit frivolous lawsuits 11 26 40 39 69 185
15 Expand gambling opportunities to increase tax revenue and tourism 5 12 15 19 31 82
16 Improve income tax policies/agreements with neighboring states 4 12 13 22 18 69

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, with more than 14,500 members, represents the interests of the accounting profession and advances the financial well-being of the people of New Jersey. The NJCPA plays a leadership role in supporting the profession by providing members with educational resources, access to shared knowledge and a continuing effort to create and expand professional opportunities. Visit