The biggest problem New Jersey faces is not high taxes, according to a recent Rutgers-Eagleton poll. It is jobs and unemployment, which 27 percent of those polled cited as the number one problem. Nevertheless, taxes are a perennial issue, and were cited as the state's biggest concern by 25 percent of those polled.
Rutgers noted that it began polling 40 years ago and asked the same question this year and in 1971: "In your opinion, what are the two or three most important problems facing the State of New Jersey?" Taxes were cited second highest that year too -- albeit at 16 percent. Jobs were also cited as a serious issue – the topic came in third.
Still, there were major differences between the two years. In 1971, the top problem was crime and drug addiction, cited by 16 percent. This year, only three percent mentioned crime and addiction as problems. Probably the biggest turnabout came in the perception of the environment. In 1971, 10 percent of those polled cited it as the biggest problem. This year, only 1 percent did.