50 years later, locals say it’s NJ’s biggest problem

Fed up with taxes in New Jersey? The new poll results won’t help.

To mark its 50th anniversary, Rutgers-Eagleton Poll asked New Jersey residents in 2021 the same question she asked in 1971 in her very first poll: What is the biggest problem New Jersey faces?

Yesterday and today, taxes occupy the first place.

And it appears, according to the poll results, that frustration with taxes has only intensified. In 2021, 39% of respondents mentioned taxes when asked about the number one problem New Jersey faces, and the economy came in second with 14%. In 1971, taxes took the place at 26%, followed closely by delinquency and drug addiction; poverty, well-being and unemployment; the environment; and education.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same – at least when it comes to how residents collect taxes,” said Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University New Brunswick. .

In the poll of over 1,000 adults, taxes were cited more often by Republicans, white men and residents. Of those who specifically mention taxes as the state’s biggest concern, 48% say New Jersey has made no progress on the issue, and 37% say New Jersey has made very little progress.

The same poll found that New Jerseyans are divided over the general direction of the state.

“Forty percent say it’s going in the right direction, while 45% say it’s going in the wrong direction, it’s on the wrong track,” Koning said.

Democrats are more optimistic and white respondents have a more positive opinion than black and Hispanic residents, according to the poll. Individuals in the highest income bracket are more negative than those in less well-off households.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at [email protected]

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