An activist group in New Jersey is hailing efforts to coordinate a potential tristate lawsuit fighting the effects of federal tax legislation.
Gov. Phil Murphy said Jan. 31 the state has formed a coalition with New York and Connecticut to bring the lawsuit in federal court. Their chief gripe: asserting that a new limit on property, state and local tax deduction caps unfairly hurts the three states, which have some of the nation’s highest property tax rates and real estate values.
Jon Whiten, vice president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, said the fiscal watchdog supports the tristate effort to formulate a lawsuit.
“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.”
Murphy said governors of the three states are formulating a plan on how and when the suit will be filed and suggested the tax legislation was politically motivated as it was passed by a Republican-dominated Congress with the most negative impact on states having a high percentage of Democratic voters.
“This tax reform bill has nothing to do with sound policy,” Murphy said in a statement. “It is clear—it is punishment.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, both Democrats, also issued strongly worded statements.
“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.”