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>Washington, Apr 15 –

From federal taxes to property taxes, New Jersey residents face one of the highest total tax burdens in the nation. Tax day serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present fact that these crushing taxes make New Jersey unaffordable for too many individuals and families. New Jerseyans are not unaccustomed to this reality, but this year’s tax day arrives amid a unique level of populist anger. Americans all around the country are participating in citizen protests in the form of tax day tea parties, such as the one taking place in the Hampton Plaza in Sussex County, in order to express their outrage at the use of their tax dollars to bail out Wall Street and “stimulate” the economy through a spending bill with questionable economic impact.

In addition to authoring income-saving legislation such as the Individual AMT Repeal Act of 2009 and the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009, I have been outspoken against government actions that increase taxpayer risk. I opposed the bailout of Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG, and the auto industry, I voted against the TARP program, and called on Congress to give its Members time to actually read the stimulus package, rather than rushing the legislation through the House and Senate.

While the actions taken by our government have staggering costs, I remain an optimist and have great confidence in the power of the American people. Americans recognize that the government needs their tax dollars to function and provide essential programs for our country, and Americans have always been willing to pay their fair share. During times of extreme crisis, the people of this country have banded together and made sacrifices for the greater good, but there is no tolerance for the spending rampage in which our government is currently participating.

On tax day this year, taxpayers are asking the American government to be accountable for how it spends their money. In a state like New Jersey, which only sees sixty-one cents in return for every dollar that goes to Washington, DC, taxpayers have a right to demand such accountability for what is being done with their tax dollars. Washington politicians should set aside their political agendas to see how Congress can reform the tax code, reduce the financial burden on the American people, and promote accountability and transparency in government spending.

Rep.Scott Garrett

Rep. Scott Garrett represents New Jersey’s fifth district and is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises for the House Financial Services Committee.

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