Published: Sat, October 08, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

New Jersey Senate approves 23-cent increase in gas tax

Chris Christie and legislative leadership announced an agreement to restore funding to the Transportation Trust Fund. Some say the colossal gas tax announcement was purposefully trying to hide behind the tragic Hoboken news. Thomas H Kean Jr., left, R- Westfield, NJ., answers a question as he stands in the Senate chamber of the New Jersey Statehouse Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. After New Jersey lawmakers postponed a vote on raising the nation's second lowest gas tax by 23 cents a gallon, Senate President Steve Sweeney said that lawmakers will return and vote on the measure on Friday. This gas tax would put a massive burden on commuting residents in this region.

But that's exactly what we're being asked to do this Wednesday on a transportation bill that helps the wealthiest at the expense of our middle class and working families.

Liberal think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective, meanwhile, castigated the deal as "absolutely toxic". Moody's said that ongoing pension shortfalls and continued structural deficits could drive further downgrades.

The gas tax vote is set for today, but the bill must be amended to ensure the state lives up to its fiscal responsibilities without taking a misguided path that favors the rich at the expense of everyone else.

If passed, the agreement would raise the state's gas tax from 14.5 cents to 37.5 cents a gallon.

"For sure, we need to abolish the estate tax and the transfer inheritance tax and increase retirement income exclusions, but that should be part of a larger tax reform package that is fiscally responsible", Ciattarelli added.

The bill unveiled on Friday is no better.

The estate tax would be phased out over the next year and a half and the sales tax would be cut by 3/8ths of a percentage point. Billionaires get tax breaks and everyone else sold out. We mourn the death of a young wife and mother as well as the scores injured. "I don't know how any legislator could ignore so many people begging for us not to hurt them". Long considered a thorn in the state's tax code, they and some Democratic lawmakers hope its elimination will retain residents and ultimately boost tax collections. "It's not a ideal piece of legislation, but it is a compromise". Furthermore, northwest New Jersey continues to be neglected for any NJTransit or rail consideration. "That doesn't make us competitive as a state and it makes your life in a state that already is the most crowded state in America, even more aggravating". The real figure, state officials claim, is $274,000, which would have made New Jersey the 15th most expensive state. "Now, hopefully voters in November will agree to my proposal to permanently dedicate all fuel tax revenue for transportation purposes".

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