Americans for Prosperity, New Jersey's leading advocate for economic freedom, has bad news for beleaguered New Jersey taxpayers upon release of the group’s Taxpayer Scorecard today: the New Jersey Legislature has not been your friend over the past two years.
“During the recent legislative session, the New Jersey Legislature has pursued an agenda that will not hearten New Jerseyans desperate for greater economic opportunity and a better future for themselves and their families,” according to Americans for Prosperity state director Erica Jedynak. “While so many are living paycheck to paycheck, most of the fiscal bills taken up over the past two years would only make our state even more unaffordable than it is now.”
“Higher spending, higher taxes, corporate welfare and cronyism, reckless energy policies that drive up electricity rates—these are just a few of the hallmarks of the Legislature’s agenda over the course of the past two years,” cited Jedynak. “Meanwhile, the storm clouds that are our state’s pension and health benefits crisis continue to darken due to the failure of lawmakers to come together and address this problem in any meaningful, responsible way.”
“Lawmakers must turn away from this tired, failing agenda and start to come to grips with economic realities by acting in a fiscally responsible manner and expanding economic freedom. Unless they do so, there is little reason to hope that our economic fortunes will turn around or our residents will be able to enjoy a prosperous life in New Jersey.”
Overview of the Taxpayer Scorecard
AFP’s 2014-2015 Taxpayer Scorecard, the state’s premier fiscal scorecard, includes votes on an array of the most critical measures impacting taxpayers and the state’s fiscal and economic health taken up during the two-year legislative session. 33 Senate votes and 30 Assembly votes on issues ranging from the state budget, income and corporate tax hikes, the RGGI cap-and-trade electricity tax, corporate welfare, ObamaCare, and the reappointment of Chief Justice Stuart Rabner are among those included in the scorecard.
“Taxpayer Heroes” and “Taxpayer Zeroes”
During the 216th Legislative Session, 14 lawmakers earned AFP’s coveted “Taxpayer Hero” honor with legislative ratings of 90% and higher, including state Sen. Mike Doherty and Sen. Sam Thompson in the upper house.
In the General Assembly, the following 12 members achieved “Taxpayer Hero” status: Michael Patrick Carroll, Jack Ciattarelli, BettyLou DeCroce, John DiMaio, Erik Peterson, Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, David Russo, Parker Space and Jay Webber, along with departing members Christopher J. Brown, Alison Littell McHose, and Donna Simon.
22 legislators—18 in the Assembly and 4 in the Senate—were recognized as “Defenders of the Taxpayer” by AFP for achieving ratings between 80-89%.
72 members of the Legislature, representing 60% of all lawmakers, were labeled as “Taxpayer Zeroes” with scores under 30%.
Americans for Prosperity’s Taxpayer Scorecard is available for download at www.TaxpayerScorecard.com.