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New Jersey joins in tristate lawsuit to overturn tax reform

By , - Last modified: January 26, 2018 at 12:31 PM
“This tax reform bill has nothing to do with sound policy. It is clear: it is punishment.” - NJ Governor Phil Murphy
“This tax reform bill has nothing to do with sound policy. It is clear: it is punishment.” - NJ Governor Phil Murphy - ()

Groups in New Jersey are hailing a tristate lawsuit to overturn and repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs plan passed last month in the U.S. Congress.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday the state has formed a coalition with New York and Connecticut to bring the lawsuit in federal court, asserting a limit on property, state and local tax deduction caps that unfairly hurt the three states, given they each have some of the highest property tax rates and real estate values in the country.

In a public statement, Murphy said that the governors of all three states are still formulating a plan on how and when the suit will be filed.

“This tax reform bill has nothing to do with sound policy,” Murphy said. “It is clear: It is punishment.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, both Democrats, echoed Murphy’s sentiment.

“There is a very strong argument that the bill is a fundamental violation of states’ rights and repugnant to the very concept of federalism that formed this nation,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement.

Added Malloy: “This is an assault on our states. I believe it is illegal. It is why we are standing up and saying that this can’t happen.”

Jon Whiten, vice president of New Jersey fiscal watchdog New Jersey Policy Perspective, said his group, a state fiscal watchdog, is throwing its support behind the suit.

“We welcome this coordinated legal action … but it’s also important that New Jersey continue to guard against the very worst effects of the federal bill – which, in fact, go far deeper than the cap on state and local tax deductions,” Whiten said. “In fact, this plan delivers lopsided tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations, while teeing up deep and devastating budget cuts that will harm working families across New Jersey, as well as the state’s budget.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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