SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – If you live in Pennsylvania but work in New Jersey, you may be paying for it. Literally. New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie recently made a decision those commuters may not like. Now, Pennsylvanian’s can have their voices heard about the issue.
Christie’s decision affects 125,000 Pennsylvanian’s who commute to New Jersey. Nineteen-thousand of those individuals live in Monroe and Pike Counties.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are under a 39-year income tax agreement, which says residents commuting between the two states pay taxes where they live.
That means Pennsylvania residents pay Pennsylvania taxes, and New Jersey residents pay New Jersey taxes.
“This agreement has been something that has worked. It has been something that’s actually very good for our local residents,” explains State Representative Rosemary Brown, (R) 189th District.
Christie recently announced he is breaking that agreement, He wants commuters to pay the tax where they work. That means Commonwealth residents making $35,000 dollars or more a year would pay Jersey’s more expensive taxes.
“The Pike County, Monroe County residents will be hurt,” warns Brown.
In Pennsylvania, residents pay a 3.07 percent flat income tax rate.
But in New Jersey the more you make, the more you pay.
For example, if Christie breaks the agreement, a single Pennsylvanian making $50,000 dollars a year in Jersey would pay $1,230 dollars more in taxes.
State Representative Rosemary Brown understands New Jersey’s struggling to balance it’s budget, but says Christie’s decision is unfair, and would make the tax filing process much more difficult.
Brown’s asking Christie to reverse his decision, but she needs your help. She’s asking local residents to sign her petition:
“And we are already suffering in a very high tax environment. The last thing I want to see is having the residents here that struggle already have to put more money out of their pockets in taxes,” explains Brown.
Governor Chris Christie’s Statement Regarding Tax Grab Reverse:
“This action was made necessary by the legislature irresponsibly creating a $250 million state budget hole in June. They assumed public employee health insurance savings but did not give me the tools to make those savings real. I will not raise state taxes, cut property tax relief, reduce aid to education or our hospitals, or reduce the state’s record pension payment to cover for this blunder by the legislature. I am freezing the additional spending the legislature added to the budget but that will not fill the gap. I am left with the least painful option I have to fulfill my constitutional duty to balance the budget for New Jersey taxpayers. If the legislature will take the action necessary to reduce public employee health insurance costs, I can then consider revising this step and the freezing of additional spending.”
Governor Tom Wolf’s Press Secretary Statement (Jeff Sheridan) Regarding Tax Grab Reverse:
“Governor Christie has erred significantly in his decision to unnecessarily punish 125,000 Pennsylvanians and cost the commonwealth $5 million annually. This will also hurt our mutual interests in creating jobs and opportunity in the region. Governor Wolf continues to hope that Governor Christie will change his mind and reverse his decision. Unfortunately, it seems that Governor Christie is committed to making Pennsylvania and our residents working in New Jersey suffer the consequences of his failure to enact a responsible budget in a bipartisan way.”