The departure of one New Jersey resident to Florida has gotten so much attention that lawmakers are calling for changing the state's tax structure, and a key legislative forecaster is raising concerns over revenue uncertainty.
The spotlight turned to hedge fund manager David Tepper this week when legislative budget forecaster Frank Haines cited the billionaire's move to Florida as a potential factor in how much income tax revenue the state brings in. Income tax revenues make up the biggest share of cash in state coffers, and a shift in projections of as little as 1 percent amounts to about $100 million, forecasters say.
It's unclear how much effect Tepper's departure could have, because his tax returns haven't been made public and it's unknown how much taxes affected his move. Tepper didn't return messages seeking comment.
But his move has caught the attention of the usually headline-shy legislative budget office.
"If a very wealthy individual — potentially a significant taxpayer to the state — relocates and relocates not only as we've been reading about it but really relocates for tax purposes ... beyond our reach, then that's something to be aware of," said Haines, the legislative and budget finance officer.
Tepper's move spurred Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick to call for an overhaul of the state's tax system.
"New Jersey can't afford to keep losing taxpayers and businesses," Bramnick said.