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Mercatus Working Paper: The New Jersey Pension Crisis

August 1, 2018
By Scott Andrew Shepard

New Jersey has a deep pension-funding crisis.

New Jersey has some of the highest debts, lowest credit ratings, highest tax rates, lowest citizen satisfaction rates, and highest out-migration rates of any state. Its responses have proven futile or counterproductive. While the pension crisis has arisen largely from a lack of citizen oversight, the state has recently increased government-worker control. While it has failed to fund its pensions, it has recently made a cosmetic dedication of lottery revenues that will only serve to hide—not correct—underfunding. And while the state already shows signs of tax-base flight, it contemplates enormous tax increases.