This High-Powered Group Could Help Combat Trump Move To Gut Your Property Tax Breaks

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has revealed the tax experts and lawmakers he'll lean on to examine New Jersey's state and local tax structure in the aftermath of federal tax reform lawmakers expected to whack taxpayers here.

The Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group will have a broad mission to investigate possible changes to government efficiency, spending and taxation at all levels, Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said Tuesday in announcing the group's membership.

Sweeney has said the panel specifically grew out of GOP-led federal tax reform that capped the state and local taxes New Jerseyans can deduct from their income tax liability at $10,000.

"We need to know how we can mitigate the negative impact of the federal tax plan and undertake a long-overdue examination of the adequacy, fairness and competitiveness of our tax structure," he said in a statement. 

Sweeney, until this year a leading advocate for a millionaires tax, has since brushed off calls for the increased tax on income over $1 million, saying wealthy residents may leave the state if they're getting pummeled on all sides. He instead sought to establish this group to explore regionalization, public pension obligations and the risks of so-called outmigration, among other issues.

Gov. Phil Murphy said his support for the millionaires tax has not wavered.

The panel will be helmed by state Senate Budget and Appropriations Chairman Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, Sen. Steve Oroho, R-Sussex, and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden.

Sarlo and Oroho teamed up on a Transportation Trust fund fix in 2016 to raise the gasoline tax 23 cents per gallon while eliminating the estate tax, raising a tax credit for the working poor and cutting taxes on retirement income.

The panel's meetings will be held in private, according to Sarlo.

Members from the New Jersey Legislature include Chairwoman of the state Assembly Budget Committee, Eliana Pintor Marin, D-Essex, Sen. Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego, D-Burlington, and Sen. Anthony Bucco.

The bench of tax and economic experts includes:

* Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors;

* Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi;

* Michael Lahr, director of Rutgers Economic Advisory Service;

* Rutgers' Bloustein Center for Local Government Research Director Raphael Caprio;

* Assistant Boustein Center Director Marc Pfeiffer, a former deputy director of the state Division of Local Government Services;

* Senior Fellow Richard Keevey, a former state budget director; 

* Henry Coleman, a professor and former economist with the U.S. General Accounting Office;

* Donald Moliver and Peter Reinhart, professors of real estate at Monmouth University; 

* New Jersey Society of CPAs Executive Director Ralph Albert Thomas;

* Frank Chin and Ray Kljajic of American Public Infrastructure, Inc.;

* Kurtis Stroemel, president at HR&S Financial Services;

*Jerry Maginnis, former managing partner of the Philadelphia office of KPMG;

* Former state Sen. Raymond Lesniak;

* former state Treasurer Feather O'Connor Houston.

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