"NJ might add another 23 cents per gallon tax. I hope it never happens. "
Because I drive on the incredibly congested, deteriorating roads and bridges in NJ, I hope that it does happen; the alternatives are simply not acceptable, IMHO. The Highway Trust Fund will reach a balance of zero dollars at the end of this month. So, in order to deal with no more funds for roads and bridges, if we don’t increase the gas tax, which of the following approaches do you favor?
Continue to borrow money (our esteemed governor’s way of appearing to help the public by holding the line on taxes, but ultimately raising taxes–after he has left office–because of the higher interest rates resulting from the state’s poor credit rating on his watch) Is that what you want?
Simply stop repairing roads and bridges. Or, is this what you prefer?
At this point, every dollar paid into NJ’s Highway Trust Fund is used to pay interest on bonds that were issued instead of using the “pay-go” approach, which is to pay as you go, rather than pass the expenses down the line with continued borrowing. Nothing is left for repairs or new construction. Perhaps you find that to be an acceptable situation, but I do not.
Nobody likes higher taxes, but the reality is that NJ’s gas tax is one of the lowest in the country, and even if it was raised 23 cents, our gas would still be cheaper than the gas in adjoining NY, CT, and many other states. Additionally, because of the high volume of out-of-state traffic on our roads, at least 20% of this tax (and perhaps as much as 30% of this tax) would be paid by those who are passing through the state on our roads.
If the gas tax isn’t increased, please tell us how you would fund the repair of existing roads and bridges and the construction of new ones.