Lonegan: GOP Must Unite Against New Taxes on Income, Smokes and Booze
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan today called on the Republican Party to announce united opposition to allegedly "popular" tax hikes on cigarettes, wine, liquor and high-income taxpayers.
"I don't care what any poll says, I'm against more taxes," Lonegan said. "New Jersey's taxes are the highest in the nation and making them higher will make our economic situation even worse."
"And it goes without saying that taking away the property tax deduction is the ultimate insult to injury," he pointed out. "With the highest property taxes in the nation thanks to the Abbott Court decision and other liberal court decisions and state mandates, Corzine's giving homeowners just one more kick in the teeth."
Lonegan made it a point to speak out against specific tax increases that a recently released Quinnipiac University poll said voters support.
"If you make cigarettes $8 a pack, people will buy them in Pennsylvania or Delaware. If you make wine and liquor more expensive, people will buy that out of state too. And if you raise the income tax rate to 9.72% on people earning over $500,000 a year, they will take all that income to other states," Lonegan added.
"That is why we need a flat tax in New Jersey, and we need it now," Lonegan noted. "Because 9.72% of nothing is nothing."
"People forget that when someone crosses the Delaware to buy cigarettes, they are also buying other items including lottery tickets. New Jersey merchants are losing that business and the state is losing tax and lottery revenues at the same time," he pointed out. "This is just one example of the state's tax policies having a direct effect on jobs."
Lonegan blamed the state's budget crisis on exactly the kinds of taxes the Governor aims to increase. "The reason we have a budget shortfall is an overdependence on income taxes from high income earners, as well as over reliance on cigarette taxes that continue to drop as fewer people smoke and those who do often buy their cigarettes out of state."
Lonegan said he would govern without regard to the polls.
"I know that after four years of a smaller state government, reduced taxes and competent leadership, I will win reelection and solidify Republican margins in both houses," Lonegan added. "All it takes is leadership."
Lonegan, who was elected as Mayor three times in a 2-1 Democrat town by double-digit margins, said that all it takes to change public opinion is standing up for what you believe.
"Two years ago, every poll said that New Jersey voters supported Corzine's half billion dollars for Embryonic Stem Cell Research as well as their phony rebate and sales tax hike scam," Lonegan said. "Yet when the voters spoke out, both these liberal ideas were soundly defeated. These polls reflect the frustration New Jersey voters have had with the ultra left-wing Corzine Democrats in Trenton today."