Proposal would give tax break to New Jersey residents who lost vehicle to Tropical Storm Ida

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A state lawmaker wants to give New Jerseyans who lost a vehicle due to Tropical Storm Ida a break on their taxes.

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, proposed giving a sales tax break to anyone buying a vehicle to replace one totaled by Tropical Storm Ida’s flooding.

“Many people lost their means of transportation due to flooding from Hurricane Ida,” Bramnick said in a news release. “Replacing their car is already expensive, the least the state could do is waive the sales tax for the replacement of their vehicle.”

A spokesperson for Bramnick did not immediately respond to a request for how much the state might forego in tax revenue or how car buyers would verify they lost their vehicle in the storm. A spokesperson for the state Treasury department did not immediately return a call seeking clarification on revenue numbers.

Currently, there is a shortage of cars nationally due to a chip shortage that has resulted in slower production.

According to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive , the average price of a new car was $41,044 in July. That is 17% higher than it was in July 2020.

New Jerseyans pay a 6.625% state sales tax rate in motor vehicles in the state. Based on the J.D. Power numbers, that equates to roughly $2,719.17 in state sales tax per new vehicle, but that does not consider the many possible variables.

Additionally, it is not immediately clear how many vehicles were totaled in New Jersey because of Ida.

On Monday, state officials revised the tally to 30 the number of New Jerseyans killed during the storm.

“I am deeply saddened to report one additional fatality, bringing our total to 30 New Jerseyans who have lost their lives to this storm,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with every family and community mourning a loved one and of those who remain missing.”

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