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Report: N.J. third-least tax friendly state in nation

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New Jersey is the third least tax-friendly state, after California and Connecticut, according to a report by Kiplinger, which says the Garden State even beat out New York, ranked fourth.

But it’s a mixed picture when it comes to figuring out how the smorgasbord of taxes pinches the wallets of New Jerseyans.

Kiplinger found that New Jersey's state and local tax burden is among the highest in the country. However, our gas tax of 15 cents per gallon is the second-lowest: only drivers in Alaska pay a lower gas tax.

According to Kiplinger, New Jersey is also among the top ten least friendly tax states for retirees.

“The state's tax policies create a thicket of thorns for some retirees,” according to Kiplinger, citing tax foundation statistics that seven of the nation’s top 10 counties with the highest median real estate taxes  are in New Jersey.  New Jersey’s top income tax rate is 8.97 percent.

Kiplinger noted, however, that New Jersey does offer retirees some breaks. It does not tax Social Security benefits or military pensions and seniors may also qualify for an exclusion of part of their retirement income  from state income taxes.

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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