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April 15, 2013

With many New Jerseyans placing their tax returns in the mail slot today, it should be remembered that the high tax burden for the Garden State is not a figment of the imagination. The nonpartisan but right-leaning Tax Foundation pegged New Jersey as 49th in the country in its 2013 state Business Tax Climate Index, moving up a notch from the past couple of years when it was ranked 50th. New York is now listed at 50.

But business taxes are not the reason for New Jersey’s poor showing in the index.

The state was ranked 40th in terms of corporate taxes, above such states as Pennsylvania, Iowa, and New Hampshire. The reasons for New Jersey bottom-hugging slot seem to be property taxes (New Jersey ranked 49th, after Connecticut) and state income taxes (the state ranked 48th). When it came to sales tax, New Jersey ranked 46th; for unemployment insurance, it came in 24th.

Most states had a more mixed tax picture. California, for instance, was near the bottom of every type of tax with the exception of property taxes, in which it ranked 17th. Massachusetts ranked only 15th in income taxes. Maryland was 8th when it came to sales taxes.

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