CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A new poll sponsored by the Cincinnati Enquirer's parent corporation shows half of New Jersey's 8.7 million residents want to move out of that state. The biggest reason: High taxes.
Gannett Co. Inc. sponsors the Monmouth University Gannett New Jersey Poll, which was released Wednesday. Gannett owns the Enquirer.
The poll should buoy opponents of a plan to increase Hamilton County's sales tax. They contend the $736 million financial package for a new jail and public safety programs in Cincinnati is too costly. They also see the proposed tax increase as harming economic growth prospects. The anti-tax movement is largely built around the idea that lowering taxes stimulates growth. The Enquirer has supported the tax hike, but it might want to review the poll results that show people want to flee for low-tax areas. Hamilton County has been losing population to suburban counties, and to Kentucky and Indiana, which it borders.
New Jersey, too, has a huge problem with out migration. The poll questions were designed to discover why people are leaving that state:
"The poll asked asked wanting to leave the state to name their top reason why and found that property taxes (28%) are the most common factor, followed by the high cost of living in New Jersey (19%). In fact, when these responses are added to those who name other state taxes (55) and housing costs *6%), nearly 6-in-10 (58%) of those who want to leave the state cite an issue related to the financial burden of living in New Jersey as the main reason behind their desire to live elsewhere."
Taxes overwhelmingly dominated all reasons why some 4.3 million New Jerseyites would like to pack their bags. It topped the weather (8%), environment (3%), desire for a change of scenery (4%), over development (4%) congestion (3%) and corruption (6%).
Patrick Murray, the poll director, said:
"The poll points to a real possibility that active working adults and higher earning retirees will leave the state in greater numbers, leaving behind a generally low-income senior population. This could put added demand on public services, but with a diminished tax base to carry the costs."