There’s little doubt that New Jersey is inflicted with the malady known as outmigration. [Out-mahy-grey-shun – verb. People leaving a region, community, etc., to move or settle into a different part of one's country or home territory.] But just what are the symptoms of this dreaded affliction?
A shrinking corporate and individual tax base, businesses fleeing the state, high unemployment, decreased tax revenues and an eroding infrastructure. According to a 2010 report issued by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, between 2004 and 2008, NJ lost $70 billion in capital due to the state’s onerous tax policies. In 2010 there were 87,630 fewer individual tax returns filed than in 2009. Between 2004 and 2013, the state had a net loss of $18 billion in adjusted gross income, according to the IRS. And New Jersey’s unemployment rate is 5.6 percent; the current national average is 5.0 percent. In fact, just this year, Mercedes left its Montvale headquarters after 43 years and took its 1,000 jobs to Atlanta—and it wasn’t because of the warmer weather. Georgia offered more in tax incentives as well as significantly lower property taxes.
While there’s no magic pill to reverse this trend, the more information CPAs and their clients have, the better our position to educate and influence state legislators.