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Report: NJ's top earners pay lower tax share than middle-income families

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New Jersey’s top earners enjoy vastly more wealth than the majority of New Jersey residents but pay a much lower percentage of taxes than middle-income families in the state. That’s according to a nationwide analysis released Wednesday by New Jersey Policy Perspective and the Institution of Taxation and Economic Policy.

In New Jersey, the top 20 percent paid a lower percentage of their family income to taxes than the bottom 80 percent, according to the analysis, which looked at the tax codes of all 50 states, including corporate and personal income tax, property taxes, sales tax and other excise taxes.

In New Jersey, middle income families — those earning between $45,300 and $74,8000 a year — still pay a higher share of their family income in taxes, 10.1 percent, than those the state’s top 1 percent of earners. Families earning at least $897,300 a year paid 9.8 percent of their yearly family income in taxes, the report said.

“The wealthiest New Jerseyans have benefited most from our growing economy, yet they continue to pay a lower share of their income in taxes than middle class families,” Sheila Reynertson, a senior policy analyst at NJPP, said in a written statement. “The tax code remains unfair and starves New Jersey of the revenue necessary to adequately invest in its assets and programs that alleviate poverty."

The top 4 percent — families earning between $313,200 and $897,300 — paid 9.6 percent of their family income towards taxes. And the top 15 percent — earners who brought in between $132,200 and $313,200 a year — paid 10.1 percent of their family income to taxes, according to the analysis.

The highest percentage was paid by families earning between $74,000 and $132,200, who paid 10.7 percent of their income to taxes.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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