Last Tuesday, Governor Christie introduced his budget for Fiscal 2013. Part of that budget was a 10% Income Tax Relief, to be phased in over 3 years. Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Oliver would rather have Property Tax Relief instead, feeling that the Income Tax break would benefit the wealthy more than the middle class. I’m a great believer in reducing taxes, whenever possible, so I’m happy when an argument comes up as to which taxes to cut. I do have a problem with the reasoning behind the Sweeney/Oliver position, though. Actually, I have two problems.
First, the argument that an Income Tax cut would benefit the wealthy more than the Middle Class is entirely true. However, a Property Tax cut would do the same thing. I don’t know what planet they live on, but Sweeney and Oliver seem to forget that the wealthy tend to own more, and usually more expensive, land than the Middle Class. Therefore, logic* dictates that the wealthy would benefit more from this tax break as well.
Second, saying that the Middle Class would benefit more from Property Tax cuts than Income Tax doesn’t hold water in the current state of affairs. I consider myself to be Middle Class (as does most of America), but I rent. Do you think my rent is going to go down because my landlord’s property taxes have gone down? Not a chance! I still pay Income Tax, though, so a break there would directly benefit me.
Like I said, though, this is a great argument to be having. If this is the kind of thing we can be worrying about, I think we’re on the right track. Now if we can only get the Federal government to balance it’s budget.
* Yeah, I know logic is a dirty word in politics. It won’t stop me from using it, though.