Newark, N.J. (Aug. 13, 2004) -- The Garden State is no garden when it comes to taxes, as New Jersey has earned the dubious honor of having the fastest-rising taxes in the nation.

According to an analysis of data collected by the National Association of State Budget Officers for the fiscal years 2003 through 2005, on a per-capita basis, New Jersey's increases have been the highest in the country, with taxes rising an average of $417 per person, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

In total, the paper said that New Jersey has hiked taxes $3.6 billion since current governor James McGreevey took office in 2002. Additionally, McGreevey’s $1.7 billion increase in the state budget is the largest for any state. By comparison, New Jersey’s neighbor, New York, has raised taxes an average of $242 per resident over the same span.

The survey said that among the 10 states with the largest tax increases over the past three years, the top eight are Northeastern and Midwestern states with large populations.

A spokesman for the governor said that the increases primarily affected the state’s wealthy and that the governor has maintained a promise to hold sales and incomes taxes in check for the middle class and elderly.

Of the more than $25 billion in tax increases by the states over the past three years, those eight accounted for 70.4 percent of the total. New Jersey accounted for about 14 percent of that $25 billion, the Star-Ledger said.

-- WebCPA staff

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