the staff of the Ridgewood bog
Trenton NJ, according to Steven Malanga is the senior editor of City Journal, Federal Highway Administration data on revenues that the states have available for spending on roads, bridges, and mass transit New Jersey collected the seventh-highest transportation revenues of any state, even before it raised its gas tax and every state that spent more was considerably larger.
The largest sources of revenues are receipts from gas taxes and tolls. While New Jersey’s gas tax was low, the state imposed some of the highest tolls in the nation on drivers; by contrast, 20 states collect no toll revenue. Together with gas-tax revenues and other fees related to driving, Jersey collected the seventh-highest transportation revenues of any state, even before it raised its gas tax; every state that spent more was considerably larger.
Now, with the added revenues from the gas tax, total transportation-related fees have increased significantly. Jersey now collects more revenue per capita from drivers than any other state.
If New Jersey was already taking in so much revenue before the gas-tax increase, how did it manage to bankrupt its trust fund? They don’t call in the Transportation slush fund for nothing ,it seems governors going back to Jim Florio and Christie Whitman in the 1990s took the gas-tax money, supposedly reserved for building and maintenance, to paper over budget deficits. Similarly, commuter train line New Jersey Transit, which is supposed to use its share of the gas revenue to fund capital projects, instead directed some of it toward paying its ever-increasing burden of employee salaries and benefits.
Politicians regularly used transportation funds to heap on new debt, until most of the money available for transportation was already earmarked for debt service . As the trust fund went broke, Jersey continued to demand that workers on its projects be paid the so-called prevailing wage— that is, the equivalent of the highest union wages in the region. New Jersey also maintains an extensive transportation bureaucracy, including separate administrations for various highway agencies, and has resisted calls to consolidate and trim it.