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June 22, 2018

The distinction goes to Mark Geiger, a Beachwood native. It’s actually a double distinction: Geiger is also the only American referee at the 2018 World Cup; he served as the main referee at the Portugal–Morocco game.

Geiger studied education at Trenton State College and worked as a math teacher at Lacey Township High School in Lanoka Harbor. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2010.

Geiger became a United States Soccer Federation National Referee in 2003.

June 21, 2018

More than half (54 percent) of those surveyed in the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll said they can’t remember their doctor or dentist explaining the risks of addiction or overdose when they prescribed opioids. Some 62 percent said they were warned about the dangers of taking opioids with alcohol and anti-depressants, and 47 percent said they were told of other treatment options.

Nearly half (46 percent) of the participants said they or a family member had been prescribed opioids by a medical professional in the past 12 months. And 86 percent said their medical provider discussed why the prescription was necessary for them or a family member.

“Our findings suggest that despite new state mandates that require doctors to discuss with patients the potential risks of addiction, potentially dangerous drug interactions, and alternative treatments when prescribing opioid medicine, such conversations are not taking place as frequently as they should,” said Itzhak Yanovitzky, associate professor at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information and the co-lead of the study, which is part of the “Opioids in the Garden State” series.

June 20, 2018

The Harmony Foundation in Secaucus has just been issued a permit to operate as an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC), dispensing marijuana for medical use in New Jersey. That brings to six the number of centers the Department of Health has issued permits to.

New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is growing at a fast clip, with 100 new patients joining it every day. To date, 23,200 patients are participating in the program. Since the DOH reformed the program earlier this year — adding anxiety, migraines, Tourette syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, and chronic visceral pain as qualifying medical conditions — 5,000 new patients have joined.

The Harmony Foundation dispensary is open and will operate from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. The five other ATCs are the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, Compassionate Care Foundation in Egg Harbor, Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center in Cranbury, and Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr.

June 19, 2018

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-4) introduced yesterday a bill that would call on the Division of Travel and Tourism to establish the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail in New Jersey.

Bourdain, a well-known restaurateur, raconteur, best-selling author, and TV personality, was born in Leonia. He died by suicide on June 8.

Bourdain celebrated the food and culture of his native state in a 2015 episode of his television program “Parts Unknown,” visiting 10 of his favorite eateries in different parts of the state and recalling a childhood spent on the beaches and at the restaurants of Long Beach Island.

The Assembly Resolution specifies that the trail — which Moriarty called a fitting way to honor the memory of one of New Jersey’s best-known chefs — would comprise the 10 places Bourdain visited in the 2015 program.

Those locations were Kubel’s in Barnegat Light; Hiram’s Roadstand in Fort Lee; Knife and Fork in Atlantic City; Dock’s Oyster House in Atlantic City; Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City; Tony and Ruth Steaks in Camden; Donkey’s Place in Camden; Lucille’s Country Cooking in Barnegat; Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park; and James’ Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City.

June 18, 2018

About $48.5 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been announced for federally qualified health centers across New Jersey. The funds support local FQHCs, which serve hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans every year.

“Today is a great day for patients, for families, and for community health providers across New Jersey,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, who helped secure the grants. “More than three-quarters of the half-million New Jerseyans who rely on community health centers come from minority communities or families that live just a paycheck away from poverty,” he added.

Menendez is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee.

June 15, 2018

New Jersey jumped from 12th to sixth place nationally for serving meals to children during the summer when school is out and hunger sets in for many students who rely on school meals during the academic year, according to a national report released yesterday.

In July 2017, New Jersey communities served nearly 1.5 million lunches to children and teens across the state — a 32 percent increase over 2016, according to the Food Research & Action Center.

On an average day this past July, 101,138 New Jersey kids ate lunch at hundreds of sites across the state, including parks, libraries, pools, camps, schools, and other places where children congregate in the summer.

Despite this progress, New Jersey communities still reached just 24 percent of students who receive free or reduced-price school lunch. If the Garden State reached the nationally recommended benchmark of 40 percent of these children, it would collect an additional $5.2 million in federal dollars to feed hungry kids in the summer, according to FRAC's annual report.

June 14, 2018

New Jersey is holding steady in the fifth spot for states ranked by total megawatts of solar energy deployed, according to the latest market report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Good news, but it should be noted that it wasn’t all that long ago the Garden State was second only to California.

The state’s solar market has grown 15 percent since this time last year, adding 53 megawatts in the first quarter, bringing total solar installed to 2,446 megawatts — enough to power 381,796 homes. New Jersey has 7,106 solar jobs, the eighth-highest count in the country.

June 13, 2018

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued an alert that a stinging jellyfish native to the Pacific Ocean has been identified in Ocean County’s Metedeconk River. The Clinging Jellyfish (Gonionemus vertens) is typically 1 inch in diameter, about the size of the dime, has 60 – 90 tentacles, and packs a painful sting. It tends to attach itself to submerged plants and algae in sheltered, shallow bays and estuaries. Waders in these areas are advised to take precautions, such as wearing boots or waders, and swimming near lifeguarded beaches.

The Clinging Jellyfish was first confirmed in New Jersey in 2016 in the Monmouth County’s Shrewsbury and Manasquan rivers.

Waders or swimmers who run afoul of this petite powerhouse should take these steps:

  • Apply white vinegar to the affected area to immobilize any remaining stinging cells.

  • Rinse the area with saltwater and remove any remaining tentacle materials using gloves, plastic card, or thick towel.

  • Apply cold packs or ice to alleviate pain; a hot compress may also be effective.

  • If symptoms persist or pain increases, seek prompt medical attention.

June 12, 2018

New Jersey has had a net loss of nearly $25 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) over the past 12 years, according to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. Tie that to the state’s imminent status as worst in the nation for corporate business tax (CBT) and the fact it’s lagging in the rate of millionaire growth and you’ve got a recipe for a state the NJBIA says is “faltering in key economic areas.”

When it crunched new Internal Revenue Service data for the 2015-2016 tax year, the NJBIA said New Jersey’s net loss in that period for potential AGI was $3.5 billion, exceeding the Garden State’s average annual loss of approximately $2.1 billion over the past 12 years. “The change,” the NJBIA contends, “is driven by taxpayers moving out of state and taking their incomes with them.”

June 11, 2018

The most recent Fairleigh Dickinson University “quality-of-life” poll found that 61 percent of New Jerseyans believe kids have a better chance of getting a good public education here, compared with the country in general. The same percentage thinks race relations in the Garden State are more harmonious than they are in the United States overall.

The results were nowhere near as sunny when it came to cost of living: 85 percent of participants said it was more expensive to live in New Jersey.

“Property taxes are the perennial bane for homeowners. And yet, there seems to be some appreciation for how the money is spent, given the clear consensus that the schools here are better than what you’d likely find nationally,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director the poll.

The financial state of the state also earned respondents’ disapproval, with 2 percent saying New Jersey isn’t doing as well as the rest of the country, and that perennial sore point with residents — road infrastructure — earned a thumbs down from 61 percent.

June 8, 2018

This is some fish story. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recommended a 40 percent cut in the size of New Jersey’s 2018 summer flounder catch quota. That follows a reduction of the same size in 2017, and it’s got some state lawmakers worried.

“Our state’s recreational fishermen have already suffered from last year’s slashed catch limits and shortened season,” said Assemblyman Edward H. Thomson. “Going forward, any further reduction of summer flounder limits would be nothing short of devastating to our state’s recreational and commercial fishing industries.”

There are more than a million recreational saltwater fishermen in New Jersey. The fishing industry contributes $7.9 billion to the state’s economy and supports 50,000 jobs. Tourism is worth $44.1 billion annually and supports over 500,000 jobs.

Also known as fluke, summer flounder is one of the most sought-after saltwater fish on the Atlantic Coast and is crucial to both the state’s recreational and commercial fisheries.

Summer flounder is managed cooperatively by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in state waters, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries in federal waters. Catch limits are set by the commission based on stock-assessment reports published by the NOAA.

“NOAA’s recommendations for the 2017 and 2018 seasons were based on flawed data collected from inconsistent sampling and methodology,” argued Thomson. He is a sponsor of a resolution (AR-45) that urges Congress and the president to enact the Transparent Summer Flounder Quotas Act and freeze summer flounder catch limits to those adopted in 2015, until a new stock assessment is complete. The measure was approved yesterday by the Assembly.

June 7, 2018

More than half of New Jerseyans (51 percent) think the cost of housing in the Garden State is a “very” serious problem. Another large group (35 percent) view it as “somewhat” problematic. (The numbers come from the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll in collaboration with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.)

Forty-nine percent of New Jerseyans say it’s “very” difficult to find reasonably priced housing in the state, while 38 percent characterize the quest as “somewhat” difficult, according to the poll. The cost of housing worries most residents — 44 percent worry “a lot” and 31 percent worry “some” about putting a roof over their heads. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who “hardly worry at all” about it is 24 percent.

The poll also found that New Jerseyans, by a large margin, want the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to be used only for what it was originally intended — building affordable homes in the Garden State. Seventy-nine percent of residents say that, and that alone, is what the fund should be spent on. A small percentage (16 percent) think the state government should be able to use the fund for other purposes, and five percent are not sure. In recent years, the money has been diverted to pay for other programs.

June 6, 2018

The HIV Emergency Relief Project in Middlesex County is to receive $1,597,077 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The project helps low-income people who are dealing with the virus — its focus is on places that have been severely affected by the HIV epidemic, with the goal of improving access to effective, affordable care.

"New Jersey has one of the largest populations of residents living with HIV/AIDS in the nation, so we have an obligation to ensure they have the resources necessary to receive comprehensive and efficient care in their communities,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said.

June 5, 2018

June is the Month of the Horse, according to a proclamation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. The horse is also the state animal, and the head of equus caballus is part of the state seal.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there were 27,658 horses in New Jersey as of 2017.

A 2007 study prepared by Rutgers University reported that the equine industry had a total economic impact of $1.1 billion annually and created nearly 13,000 jobs. It paid an estimated $160 million federal, state, and local taxes.

A bill (S-2602) approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee yesterday would “put in place the regulatory framework needed to allow casinos and racetracks to start taking bets on professional sports competitions and college events that don’t take place in the state or include a New Jersey team,” according to the press release.

"Sports betting is a major step forward for horseracing in New Jersey, providing a significant financial boost to an industry that is so important to the state,” said Senator Vin Gopal (Monmouth). “The thoroughbred industry, horse farms and horseracing have long been an important part of the state’s economy, quality of life and our identity.”

June 4, 2018

The state Department of Treasury on Friday announced a freeze of "all hiring, promotions and discretionary spending until further notice" to ensure the state budget’s general fund can make it to the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

While the general fund covers roughly 55 percent of the state’s expenditures, a series of tax cuts and other fiscal-policy changes that have been enacted in recent years have been reducing the fund’s revenue stream, leading to a very tight operating margin. The state income tax, which is New Jersey's biggest revenue source, is booming, but that revenue is not available for the general fund since it is constitutionally dedicated to only funding property-tax relief.

Treasury unveiled a plan to deal with general fund’s structural problem earlier this year, calling on lawmakers to allow for $788.5 million in energy-tax revenues to be shifted "on budget" to provide a robust cushion for the fund. But with just weeks left in fiscal year 2018, that plan has yet to be adopted as the Murphy administration and legislative leaders continue to clash on budget issues.

June 1, 2018

People in New Jersey complain and carry on about the property taxes they pay — with good reason. But when it comes to taxes assessed on individual buildings, the Garden State is small potatoes. New Jersey only rates two entries on the list of 100 buildings in the U.S. hit with the highest taxes in 2017, according to the website, commercial cafe.

Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa shelled out $20.4 million in property taxes, putting it No. 1 in New Jersey but only 58th in the country. The Mall in Short Hills also made the cut, but its $17.3 million only earned it the 85th spot on the survey.

The highest property taxes in these United States of America were paid by the Northport Power Station in Salonga, NY, which coughed up (drum roll, please) $82.1 million.

May 31, 2018

Nearly 75 percent of the 786 CPAs who responded to a recent survey from the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) said New Jersey’s economy would get either “significantly worse” (31 percent) or “marginally worse” (44 percent) over the long term under Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget plan. Only 14 percent said it would end up better.

Respondents mostly blamed high taxes on corporations and individuals as a reason for the negative sentiment, which they said could eventually lead to more unemployment and an exodus of businesses and individuals from the state.

Overall almost 55 percent of the respondents rated the state’s current economy “fair,” compared with 28 percent who said it is “good,” and 17 percent who said it’s “poor.” Only 1 percent rated the current economy as “excellent.”

Actions that would get the economy on the right track: less regulation, lower marginal tax rates, repealing mandatory sick leave legislation, decoupling school-funding formula from property taxes, streamlining the police forces in the state, and converting pension plans to 401(k) retirement accounts.

May 30, 2018

The Garden State Quality of Life Index has dropped to a 38-year low. Only half of New Jerseyans say the state is an excellent (15 percent) or good (39 percent) place to live. Twenty-nine percent rate it as merely fair and 17 percent rate it as an outright poor place to hang their hats. That adds up to a positive rating of 54 percent; it hasn’t been that low since 1980.

The results come from the latest Monmouth University Poll, which also pinpoints things that contribute to the liverish outlook of so many New Jerseyans. Top of the list comes the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes. Forty-five percent of residents rate property taxes as one of the most crucial issues the state faces. According to the poll, it’s far and away the biggest concern. Other things that knit our brows: additional taxes (25 percent), education (16 percent), jobs (14 percent), the economy and general cost of living (14 percent), transportation infrastructure (14 percent), and, finally, crime, guns, and drugs (12 percent).

May 29, 2018

There were 5,092 reported cases of Lyme disease last year across New Jersey, according to the Department of Health, the highest since 2000 and a 17 percent jump from the 4,349 reported cases in 2016. Morris County outpaced all others with a record-high 650 cases in 2017. All told, there were record highs reported in 10 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who fought for additional resources to fight Lyme Disease across the country, and New Jersey State Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, have put together a video discussing how the Garden State is fighting off this tick-borne disease.

May 25, 2018

The endangered bog turtle just inched closer to becoming New Jersey’s State Reptile.

Legislation (A-1530) sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker to designate the bog turtle as the official State Reptile of New Jersey was cleared by the Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 74-0.

“The bog turtle is a unique creature, and important to New Jersey’s ecosystem,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon). “These turtles used to be prevalent. Unfortunately, because of destruction of their habitat, they are now critically endangered. There’s certainly much more we need to do to protect them and preserve their habitat, and we will. This bill is an important way to raise awareness about the species and its plight, and a commitment by our state to protect it.”

May 24, 2018

The campaign for a $15 per hour minimum wage has had strong support in New Jersey. But, in a new study, two economists suggest that, if adopted, it might lead to 32,000 jobs lost in the Garden State by 2024, with 10,000 of those losses among employees between the ages of 16 and 19.

The study was released this week by the Washington, D.C.-based Employment Policies Institute, which said the economists’ conclusion for what might happen in New Jersey mirrored research on the effects of “Seattle’s minimum wage experiment,” which “actually reduced take-home pay for affected employees, after a loss of hours at work.”

May 23, 2018

Every year, “more than one million calls are made to 911 requesting emergency care…” in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy noted in a proclamation that draws attention to the work of the state’s emergency services (EMS) clinicians. At first glance, it’s a startling number, but on reflection not so much. For, as the governor detailed, the calls to 911 run the gamut of emergencies — from traumatic injuries, to burns, poisonings, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks, and other medical crises.

The Murphy administration wants to highlight New Jersey’s 31,000 emergency medical services clinicians for their work in this National EMS Week. In the proclamation, the governor lauded the “vital public service” they provide.

The Garden State has a range of emergency medical organizations — from community-based EMS to regional mobile intensive-care programs and aeromedical care specialists. The people — both voluntary and paid — who take on that work, don’t just put in hours of active service; they also rack up a lot of hours on specialized education to improve their skills. The state Office of Emergency Medical Services [www.state.nj.us/health/ems/|certifies] more than 26,000 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and 1,700 mobile intensive care paramedics (MICPs); it also licenses mobility assistance vehicles, ambulances, and other specialty care transport units, totaling more than 4,500 vehicles.

May 22, 2018

When it comes to the condition of their overall health, New Jersey’s seniors rank 23rd among the states. Not too hot, not too cold. But that’s a drop of three spots from their previous grade, according to America's Health Rankings Senior Report.

Among the factors contributing to the mediocre ranking was a high use of intensive care units: New Jersey places 50th in that category; 23.1 percent of the state’s Medicare recipients aged 65 and older who died spent seven or more days in an ICU during the last six months of life. Compare that with the less than 6 percent for their peers in Vermont, North Dakota, Idaho, Maine and Utah.

Seniors in the Garden State scored badly too for physical activity, ranking 46th. Almost 36 percent of adults here aged 65 and older, in fair or better health, reported no physical activity or exercise during the previous 30 days, other than whatever their regular jobs demanded. It’s perhaps not unrelated that obesity has increased from 25.0 percent to 27.9 percent among adults here aged 65 and above.

Hospital readmissions also contributed to the state’s ranking. More than 15 percent of Medicare enrollees aged 65 and older in New Jersey were readmitted to hospital within 30 days of having been discharged, placing the state 36th for that health indicator.

On the rosier side, apparently our seniors don’t fall as much as do older people in other states. New Jersey’s seniors rank fourth for a low prevalence of falls, with only 25.6 percent of adults aged 65 years and older having fallen in the previous 12 months.

Other findings: When it comes to four- and five-star nursing home beds, New Jersey’s doing well. In the past three years, their number has increased from 49.7 percent to 61.0 percent of certified nursing home beds. The state also scores well on diabetes management, ranking second, with 84.4 percent of diabetic Medicare enrollees aged 65 to 75 receiving a blood lipids test. This compares to fewer than 70 percent in Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana and Vermont.

May 21, 2018

Despite New Jersey's reputation for having lost its entrepreneurial spirit — something even Gov. Phil Murphy laments but claims he will turn around — Amazon begs to differ. According to the online retail behemoth, New Jersey ranks fifth among what it terms the most entrepreneurial states in the country. Amazon ranks states based on the number of small and medium-sized businesses per capita that use the company in their business development. Utah comes top of the list, followed by California, New York, and Colorado. After New Jersey, the states that fill out the top 10 are Washington, Florida, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

Amazon has more than 13,000 employees in New Jersey.

May 18, 2018

Whether you’re buying them Jersey Fresh from a favorite market or from a local farm stand, asparagus are the perfect vegetable to usher in the summer months — steamed, grilled, or prepared according to one of the mouthwatering recipes available online, such as these 33 from Bon Appétit.

According to the Jersey Fresh website, choose odorless asparagus stalks with dry, tight tips; avoid limp or wilted stalks. Asparagus can be refrigerated for up to four days by wrapping ends of stalks in wet paper towel and placing them in a plastic bag. The growing season is expected to last from April 20 through June 15.

Bon Appétit is not a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

May 17, 2018

Forty-five percent of New Jersey residents think the state is headed in the right direction; at the same time, 48 percent think it’s going down the wrong path. That might seem a small win for the pessimists. In fact, however, it’s the cheeriest we’ve been in a long time. In the waning days of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, the nays had it by a wide margin. This new measure of Garden State positivity comes from the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

While noting the upswing in residents’ views on the state, Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, said, “…the degree to which they have improved varies across partisan lines.” She noted that two-thirds of Democrats have a positive outlook, up 26 points since last November. “Independents are much more skeptical, but positivity has grown by double digits among them as well. Three-quarters of Republicans feel just the opposite, though even among this group, positivity has ticked up 5 points since [Gov. Phil] Murphy’s November victory.”

Other poll results: It’s all positive for Sen. Cory Booker, who is the most popular politician in the state. More residents approve than disapprove of his job performance by a margin of 52 percent to 27 percent. The news is also good for Gov. Phil Murphy, with 46 percent approving of how he’s doing in his new job, 29 percent disapproving, and the rest giving no opinion. But the results for Sen. Bob Menendez are ho-hum, to say the least. Slightly more disapprove than approve of the job he’s doing by a margin of 37 percent to 33 percent, with a large number either undecided or with no opinion. Twenty-two percent say they have a positive impression of him; 35 percent have a negative view of him, while 42 percent are not sure.

May 16, 2018

April is the cruelest, sorry, largest month of the year for tax collections. New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury reported this week that revenue collections for the major taxes in April amounted to $2.3 billion, barely squeaking up by 0.3 percent over last April’s intake. Treasury also reported that total revenues are tracking close to their target for financial year 2018.

The flat result in April is being attributed to the prepayment by many taxpayers of about $200 million in December 2017 to take advantage of the federal State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction that was about to expire, thanks to the recent GOP federal tax changes. So, the pancake-flat return for April wasn’t unexpected.

May 15, 2018

New Jersey hospitals have some way to go before they achieve an adequately low level of births by caesarean section. In its “maternity measures” survey of New Jersey hospitals for 2017, released today, the Leapfrog Group reports that 20 participating hospitals — more than 40 percent of those surveyed — had a rate of 30 percent or higher of such births.

According to the report, almost 37 percent of births in the Garden State in 2017 took place at such a hospital. At the higher end of the spectrum were CentraState Medical Center in Freehold (42.1 percent), Hackensack University Medical Center (41 percent), and Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House (36.6 percent).

Only nine reporting hospitals met the goal of 23.9 percent or fewer such deliveries. Looked at from the other end of the lens, that means over 80 percent of the reporting hospitals In New Jersey that provide obstetrics services “are not meeting the Leapfrog goal.” Among the hospitals that met or did better than the 23.9 percent benchmark were: CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital in Jersey City (14 percent), CarePoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center (16.1 percent), and Cooper University Hospital in Camden (19 percent).

“New Jersey can and must do better to reduce C-section rates, which vary widely among hospitals. There are times when a C-section is needed. But, the hospital where an expectant mother delivers her baby should not be the determining factor of whether or not she has a surgical birth… We need all the New Jersey hospitals that provide maternity care to meet the Leapfrog standards,” Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, said.

May 14, 2018

We’re No.1 — unfortunately. According to a new report by the Tax Foundation, New Jersey has the dubious distinction of being the state that collects the highest property taxes in the country per capita: $3,074.

Property taxes are highest in the Northeast, and each of the New England states is among the 10 states with the highest per capita property taxes. Overall, the District of Columbia comes in first ($3,350), followed by New Jersey ($3,074), New Hampshire ($3,054), and Connecticut ($2,847).

Among the 10 states with the lowest per capita property taxes, a majority are in the South, where sales taxes are a more prominent source of state revenue. Texas is a notable outlier, relying heavily on property taxes while not levying state individual or corporate income taxes. The nation’s lowest per capita property tax collections are in Arkansas ($699), Oklahoma ($678), and Alabama ($540).

The Tax Foundation is the nation’s leading independent tax-policy nonprofit.

May 11, 2018

This may not be a good time to be a millionaire in New Jersey, at least according to a new poll from New Jersey Policy Perspective, an independent, nonpartisan think-tank. According to the survey, 70 percent of New Jersey voters support raising the income-tax rate on households making $1 million or more a year. That opinion was surprisingly bipartisan: 69 percent of independents and 51 percent of Republicans back the tax bump. The poll also found bipartisan support (67 percent) for raising income taxes on the top 5 percent of households.

Other findings that may have you counting your lucky stars that you’re not in the millionaires club:

  • 49 percent of New Jersey voters say they would be more likely to support their state representative if they supported raising taxes on millionaires, while only 20 percent say they are less likely to do so.

  • Over two-thirds of New Jersey voters (69 percent) support closing tax loopholes used by multistate corporations, including 71 percent of independents and 61 percent of Republicans.

  • A majority of voters (61 percent) support restoring the New Jersey’s estate tax on heirs inheriting $1 million or more.

  • New Jersey voters also strongly support a 3 percent surcharge on businesses with more than $1 million in net income (by a 26-point margin) and rolling back the recent reduction in the state sales tax (by a 13-point margin).

  • Voters oppose the new federal tax law by a margin of 14 points, with a clear majority (59 percent) believing it will mostly help the wealthy and corporations.

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