When Michael Aron dared to suggest that plenty of evidence shows New Jersey is NOT the highest taxed state in the country – contrary to the claims of Chris Christie – the governor open up both barrels on the author of a recent op-ed that proved his claim false: Deborah Howlett.
First of all, you’ll notice Christie does not attempt to refute Howlett’s piece on its merits; the fact is that he can’t. Study after study has shown that New Jersey is NOT the highest taxed state in the US; Howlett’s piece was just one in a series of refutations of Christie’s claim.
But all that aside: listen to Christie’s one reference to a study that he claims backs him up (quote starts at 1:27):
You go around the country; you can ask anybody if they’d rather move here for the tax situation here than the tax situation in their state. And what you’re going to find is what the Boston College study found between 2004 and 2008, which is $70 billion in wealth walked out of this state because of the tax situation we have in this state.
Christie says the BC study claims that wealth left this state because of taxes. Oh, really?
Here’s the study, authored by John Havens. I defy anyone to go through the study and find any claim that tax policy is the reason why wealth left this state.
The fact is, Havens makes no such claim. On page 27, in Table 7, Havens shows the percentage of wealthy people who left New Jersey for 18 different reasons; taxes are not even listed as one of those reasons (70% of these folks moved for job-related reasons).
So, no, governor, the BC study definitely does not say wealth left this state due to taxes. And why would it? We aren’t the highest taxed state in country, contrary to your lies, so wealth would have little incentive to leave for a better tax situation.
Oh, and Senator Sweeney? Nice job giggling while Christie lied in everyone’s face.