Union County Chairman Responds to Governor's Order on Transportation Trust Fund Authority

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The vote early Tuesday came after a day of backroom talks between Christie and legislative leaders, including Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's gas tax could jump from the country's second-lowest to one of the highest by Friday, and that has motorists across the state calculating the potential costs.

New Jersey residents can take solace in the fact that even if the gas tax goes up 23 cents, it would still be less than in neighbouring Pennsylvania (about 50 cents) and NY (about 42 cents), according to Tax Foundation figures.

The funds raised through the gas tax hike would have been used to replenish the state's transportation trust fund, which pays for road, bridge and transit work. The state Senate is set to vote on the plan Thursday.

It is unclear how many projects will be affected, but Christie said that TTF money shouldn't be spent on any projects that aren't "absolutely essential". As the Wall Street Journal reported, it's very much up in the air whether or not the state senate will support the plan-and their support is needed for the proposal to pass.

"I've never signed a tax increase in seven years as governor and I didn't want to, but I also don't want our roads to fall apart, our bridges to fall down and our trains not running", Christie said in Wall Township on Tuesday.

Union County Chairman Responds to Governor's Order on Transportation Trust Fund Authority
Union County Chairman Responds to Governor's Order on Transportation Trust Fund Authority

"Each of the three legs of the stool has a different approach", observed Michael Cerra, assistant executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, which has supported the communities questioning the longstanding property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals.

In a press release issued late Thursday night Christie blamed senate Democrats for the failure to reach a deal. Without the legislation, the fund would run out of borrowing authority at the end of June. Spadea has said the single percent off the sales tax - first phased in as half a percent in six months, then a full percent after 18 months - wouldn't compare to the 23-cent gas tax hike for most residents. He said the final plan is a "win-win" that will ultimately help to spur on new Jersey's economy.

Understandably, many New Jersey drivers are rooting against the gas tax hike.

New Jersey's average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.11 last week, according to AAA-Mid-Atlantic. "We're going to continue to see economic growth if we do things like cut the sales tax and put more money in consumers' pockets", Christie said on Wednesday. "People need relief, they're saying it all the time".

And the business lobby will also be asked to button-hole Republicans that the sales tax cut will only come back to haunt their corporate and small-business supporters. If it does, the new tax would go into effect this Friday, July 1.

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