When will New Jersey really have its comeback?

Statehouse (NJSenateRepublicans.com)

While many states are finally putting the recession behind them, the Garden State is still struggling. That's the word from the budget and finance officer with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) who uses a national report as the basis for his analysis.

"According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, by 2013 a majority of states had returned to their pre-recession peak," says OLS budget expert Dr. David Rosen. "New Jersey has bounced back, but more slowly than elsewhere."

What do other states have that New Jersey does not? Some states are using revenue enhancers to help rake in more cash. 'Revenue enhancer,' is often the politically vague way of referring to tax hikes.

"In some states, the bounce back was aided by tax rate increases or burgeoning energy production," explains Rosen. "(These are) factors that are absent in New Jersey."

If you think back to 2008 and compare your financial situation then to what it is today, you can likely figure out that your dollar doesn't stretch as far as it did five years ago. The same goes for the Garden State.

"It is also appropriate to note than once we return to the FY (Fiscal Year) 2008 revenue peak the State will not have the purchasing power it had back then," says Rosen. "Adjusting for inflation during the interim, the same nominal revenue will be worth at least $2.5 billion less than it was in 2008."