Editorial nj standing its ground on tax ‘reform’ electricity voltage used in usa

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This marks just one of many developing battlegrounds pitting New Jersey and other states — typically progressive states like California and New York — against an antagonistic federal government and a vindictive White House on a wide range of issues.

How much ammunition New Jersey can bring to these fights isn’t entirely clear, and a fair number of legal challenges in both directions are inevitable. But the question many New Jerseyans — mostly Republicans — are asking is whether our defiance is worth the trouble and potential retribution.

This week, Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign legislation designed to help New Jerseyans circumvent new caps on property tax deductions. Taxpayers would instead be able to re-label their property taxes as charitable contributions, on which there are no deduction caps — if their municipalities sign on to the program.

There’s an undeniably attractive “stick it to the man” vibe about this measure — strange as it may be that it involves paying large amounts of taxes — and many other states have taken similar steps. But there are no guarantees that it will work, or that the Internal Revenue Service will accept it, or that President Donald Trump and his administration won’t strike back with some other punitive measure. Remember, the feds are already trying to rescind funding for the Gateway project.

This isn’t just about partisan conflict. The numbers also don’t add up. GOP arguments justifying the deductions and opposition to Gateway claim other states shouldn’t subsidize a high-tax state like New Jersey. But that ignores the long-running fact that New Jersey is already subsidizing many of those other states, sending far more tax dollars to the federal government than we get back.

New Jersey is already fighting on many fronts. Another recent piece of legislation bans offshore drilling and infrastructure involved in oil and gas operations within state waters. That extends only 3 miles beyond shore, but the infrastructure restrictions could prevent drilling in federal waters beyond those 3 miles.

But some fights are worth fighting, and we continue to encourage state officials to stand firm against federal excesses wherever and whenever they occur. Critics of that approach can talk all they want about developing friendlier relations with Washington. But it’s dangerous to try cozying up to a president who has not earned our trust.

This isn’t just about partisan conflict. The numbers also don’t add up. GOP arguments justifying the deductions and opposition to Gateway claim other states shouldn’t subsidize a high-tax state like New Jersey. But that ignores the long-running fact that New Jersey is already subsidizing many of those other states, sending far more tax dollars to the federal government than we get back.

New Jersey is already fighting on many fronts. Another recent piece of legislation bans offshore drilling and infrastructure involved in oil and gas operations within state waters. That only extends three miles beyond shore, but the infrastructure restrictions could prevent drilling in federal waters beyond those three miles.

We don’t want New Jersey officials flailing wildly against every Trumpian dictate with which they don’t agree. We have some concerns that the charitable contributions gimmick may ultimately be too tenuous to work effectively. But some fights are worth fighting, and we continue to encourage state officials to stand firm against federal excesses wherever and whenever they occur. Critics of that approach can talk all they want about developing friendlier relations with Washington. But it’s dangerous to try cozying up to a president who has not earned our trust.