The 215th New Jersey Legislature was no friend to hard-working New Jerseyans looking for tax relief, a pro-growth agenda and a return to fiscal sanity in Trenton. This is the message from Americans for Prosperity upon the release of the grassroots, free-market group’s Taxpayer Scorecard—the state’s premier fiscal legislative scorecard.
“The state Legislature is out of touch with reality and failing to stand up for the economic well-being of middle class New Jerseyans,” said AFP state director Daryn Iwicki. “Everywhere I go people tell me they want their taxes cut and they want jobs. Yet, virtually every fiscal measure this Legislature takes up is aimed at growing government, digging New Jersey into a deeper hole and making it harder to create jobs here. And tax relief is nowhere in sight,” added Iwicki.
AFP’s 2012-2013 Taxpayer Scorecard includes 40 of the most critical measures impacting taxpayers and the state’s fiscal and economic health taken up during the two-year legislative session. According to Mike Proto, AFP’s communications director Mike Proto and manager of the scorecard project, most of the legislation is hurtful to residents.
“The bills we’ve included speak for themselves. The pursuit of higher spending, higher taxes, higher energy bills; these are all hallmarks of the recent legislative session. This Legislature is all-in on President Obama’s disastrous health care law and has done long-lasting damage to our job market thanks to the very misguided constitutional amendment on the minimum wage.”
“Simply put: Trenton continues to be the enemy of taxpayers and the enemy of prosperity,” Proto declared.
During the 215th Legislative Session, seven lawmakers earned AFP’s coveted “Taxpayer Heroes” honor with legislative ratings of 90% and higher: Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23), the lone member of the senate, along with Assembly members Jay Webber (R-26), John DiMaio (R-23), Erik Peterson (R-23), Anthony M. Bucco (R-25), Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25), and Alison Littell McHose (R-24).
Twenty-six other legislators, all Republicans, were recognized as “Defenders of the Taxpayer” by AFP for achieving ratings between 80-89%.
“While the Legislature continues to lead New Jersey in the wrong direction, AFP commends these lawmakers for standing up for the interests of taxpayers and their constituents,” added state director Iwicki.
The lowest-rated Republican legislator was District 16 Sen. Kip Bateman who was dubbed a “Taxpayer Foe” for tallying a 59% score.
All but two of the 70-member Democratic caucus—District 1 Sen. Jeff Van Drew and ex-Assemblyman Nelson Albano— were labeled as “Taxpayer Zeroes” with scores under 30%. Three Assembly Democrats departed the Legislature in infamy for registering 0% ratings: District 33’s Sean Connors and Ruben Ramos and District 38’s Connie Wagner.
Americans for Prosperity’s Taxpayer Scorecard is available for download at www.TaxpayerScorecard.com.