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CPAs tell New Jersey clients it’s time to move to lower-tax states, survey finds

  • Living in New Jersey comes with access to New York City, Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore.
  • The price for that is high taxes for both individuals and businesses.
  • A new survey shows that more than 50% of certified public accountants have recommended those clients leave in order to escape the high cost of living.

The beach at Wildwood, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore on May 27, 2021.Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Certified public accountants have a message for New Jersey-based clients: It's time to move to a lower-cost state.

That's according to a recent survey from the New Jersey Society of CPAs, which found that 70% of professionals surveyed who have clients in the state have advised them to move due to the high cost of living.

Meanwhile, 53% of accountants surveyed said they have told business clients in the Garden State to relocate due to the high cost of doing business.

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The reason CPAs prod their clients to move comes down to their fiduciary obligation to give good advice, said Ralph Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA.

There's another reason they're having those conversations: taxes.

"The tax structure here is one of the highest in the country, if not the highest, and that certainly is a negative issue for individuals and for businesses," Thomas said.

High property taxes and corporate tax rates were cited as top concerns among the CPAs surveyed.

For businesses, top concerns cited include lack of skilled personnel, regulatory requirements and domestic economic conditions.

NJCPA provides data and information to encourage the state to streamline its government.

The organization has done work to address the gas and estate taxes. Among the current priorities on its agenda is the inheritance tax, Thomas said, which could be streamlined to be more equitable.

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