I just recently moved here from Texas, where you can get a 3,000-square-foot home for less than $200,000 and less than $3,000 in taxes. I just retired from the U.S. Navy after 21 years of service to this country and started a job with the U.S. Coast Guard. After looking at what New Jersey is doing to its residents, I have to rethink whether staying here is a wise financial choice.

I wanted to purchase a home in Egg Harbor Township. Taxes were almost $8,000. I learned much of that goes to the school system even though I don't have a child going to the schools. And not only does New Jersey charge incredibly high property taxes, you also get tolled to death for driving its roads just to go to work. When you drive into New Jersey, the welcome sign should say: "Welcome to New Jersey. Now empty out your pockets." I don't know how people can afford to live here and be able to save for retirement at the same time.

I'm ready to leave this state, and I just got here. No wonder there are so many foreclosures and short sales. Property taxes are just plain crazy. I have lived all over the U.S. during my naval career and have never seen a place as out of whack as New Jersey. If anyone I know wants to move here, I'll tell them to run away as fast as they can.

This state must have some poor leaders if it has to tax its citizens to death. In the Navy, we are continually tasked with doing more with less. Seems like this state's only solution is to just raise taxes. The politicians better figure this out before more and more people leave this state.

EDWARD ECK

Cape May Court House