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Poll: Residents upset with state's direction, economic climate

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Despite financial concerns, New Jerseyans like living in the Garden State: a majority of residents continue to rate the state as an “excellent” or “good” place to live.
Despite financial concerns, New Jerseyans like living in the Garden State: a majority of residents continue to rate the state as an “excellent” or “good” place to live. - ()

A majority of New Jerseyans are disenchanted with the state's economic climate and most also are pessimistic about the state's direction.

That’s according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll conducted late last year and released Monday.

Some 82 percent of residents polled said they were dissatisfied on the issue of taxation, with 60 percent “very” dissatisfied. Roughly three quarters of respondents also signaled misgivings on the cost of living and government spending.

“In a state that ranks near the top when it comes to outbound migration and taxation, it’s no surprise that New Jerseyans are upset with how state government is handling important financial matters – most of all, taxes,” said Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in a statement. “It will be a challenge for Governor Murphy to balance fulfilling those of his campaign promises that require new resources with citizens’ current dissatisfaction with taxes and the high cost of living in the state.”

Yet despite grave financial concerns, New Jerseyans clearly like living in the Garden State. A majority of residents continue to rate the state as an “excellent” or “good” place to live – though the ratings were down from polls done prior to 2004. Residents rate the neighborhoods they live in better than their towns or cities, and they rate their municipalities ahead of the state as a whole.

But when asked to compare New Jersey to most other states, residents were lukewarm: Three in 10 said New Jersey is a “better” place to live, with about the same number each saying it is “worse” or the “same” as other states.

Results were culled from a statewide poll of 1,203 adults contacted Nov. 15-27, with interviews conducted in English and Spanish. The polls carries a margin of error of three percentage points.

Read the full report, here.

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David Hutter


David Hutter grew up in Darien, Connecticut, and covers higher education, transportation, and economic development for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com

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