By Jonathan D. Salant |NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump marked the six-month anniversary of the Republican tax law that removed a key property tax deduction for New Jersey residents by touting new jobs and new investments.
“More than 5 million workers have already received a tax cut bonus, a pay raise, or a new job thanks to these really massive tax cuts,” Trump said at a White House ceremony. “Millions more more are getting higher take-home pay.”
Trump also defended his efforts to reduce federal health, safety and environmental regulations, and his ongoing trade disputes with U.S. allies.
“Companies were leaving and they were firing,” Trump said. “Now they’re coming back and they’re hiring. And that’s the way we want it.”
Rep. Tom MacArthur, the only New Jersey lawmaker to vote for the tax cuts, said the law was having its desired effects.
“While Trenton politicians are arguing about which taxes to increase — and they appear poised to raise them all — perhaps they should tap the brakes and realize the incredible boost that tax cuts are to our economy,” said MacArthur, R-3rd Dist.
“Wages and hiring are increasing,” he said. “New Jersey home values are up. And Main Street businesses are investing in our communities again. In our state alone next year, families and businesses will be saving $9 billion thanks to us cutting taxes at the federal level. Trenton should try it sometime.”
Still, the tax cut bill remained unpopular. In a June Monmouth University Poll, with 41 percent disapproved of the law and 34 percent supported it. And according to an April Monmouth poll, the unpopularity of both the tax bill and Trump indicated that all five Republican-held House seats in New Jersey could fall to the Democrats.
The legislation, crafted in secret with no hearings and under a procedure that excluded Democratic lawmakers, capped the federal deduction for state and local income, property and sales taxes.
That disproportionately affected New Jersey and other high-tax states, most of which send billions of dollars more to Washington than they receive in services.
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As a result, more than 1 in 10 New Jerseyans will see their taxes go up, a greater percentage than any other state, according to the Tax Policy Center, a research group from progressive Urban Institute and Brookings Institution whose advisory board includes Democrats and Republicans.
“Trump’s tone-deaf comments show he’s totally out to lunch,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th Dist., a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. “The deeply unpopular Republican tax scam jammed into law hasn’t raised wages or spurred job growth but has done the exact opposite.”