Monmouth County Assembly Members Propose Bipartisan Commission to Simplify New Jersey Tax Code

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TRENTON -- Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have introduced legislation that would establish the New Jersey Tax Structure Study Commission, a bipartisan commission to study and recommend revenue-neutral policy options to modernize and re-shape New Jersey’s tax system.

“The goals of this commission are very cut and dry: we are looking for new ways to increase simplicity, fairness, and affordability in New Jersey’s tax system,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “I started in municipal government, so I know how many hoops our local officials have to jump through when it comes to determining and collecting taxes. We need to take a hard look at how we can simplify the tax code, for the benefit of all residents.”

The bill would establish a bipartisan commission of 10 members, five of whom will be members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate and five of whom will be members of the General Assembly appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly. The commission will be charged with examining, among other things, New Jersey’s gross income tax, corporation business tax, estate tax, local property tax, and, in examining each tax, consider if the tax encourages economic growth and is efficient, simple, and fair. The bill requires that the commission issue a final report to the Governor and the Legislature no later than 180 days after its formation.

“In creating this body with members from different political parties, we’re hoping to bring diverse voices to the table and create real, sustainable change for New Jersey, and to simplify what has become a complicated and onerous tax system,” said Downey (D-Monmouth), “We have a serious affordability crisis in our state, and this can be a first step toward real, long-term solutions.”

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