Trenton NJ, after a thorough review of fuel consumption statistics and consultation with the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, the Department of the Treasury announced today that New Jersey’s gas tax rate will increase by 0.9 cents per gallon beginning October 1 to comport with the 2016 law that requires a steady stream of revenue to support the State’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) program.
Trenton NJ, On Monday, the Office of Legislative Services analyst David Drescher warned state legislators that a dip in fuel consumption could trigger an automatic increase in the “gas tax” again this upcoming October.
“The Office of Legislative Services forecast assumes that the statutory target will be met for fiscal year 2020, which might necessitate a further increase in the tax rate if consumption does not substantially increase between now and the fall,” said Drescher.
New Jersey’s gas tax rose 22.6 cents to 37.1 cents per gallon back in October 2016 following a widely-panned deal struck between then-Governor Chris Christie and Democrat legislative leaders.The controversial law includes an automatic annual increases to fuel consumption.
Trenton NJ as expected ,the price of gasoline is set to increase further in New Jersey. The state Treasury Department announced Thursday that starting Oct. 1 the New Jersey gas tax will increase by 4.3 cents per gallon. The department claims that lower fuel consumption levels over the past two years necessitated the price increase “in order to ensure compliance with the 2016 law that requires a steady stream of revenue to support the state’s Transportation Trust Fund program.” As more people flee the state , and gas prices raise it seems certain that consumption will further decrease .
While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and state lawmakers consider a 25-cent a gallon gas tax hike to raise $2 billion a year to fund transportation projects, a war of words and statistics has erupted over the high cost of highways in the Garden State.
New Jersey pays in excess of $2 million a mile per year, more than 12 times higher than the national average, to maintain 3,338 miles of state-administered roads, according to aReason Foundation study.
Three days after a New Jersey Watchdog report, New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox called the study “inaccurate and unfair” in acolumn published by NJ.com.
“Without the benefit of having the numbers the Reason Foundation used to base its calculations, there is no way to independently review its findings,” Fox wrote.
“That’s strange,” replied David Hartgen, the annual study’s senior author for 21 years. “Our annual highway report is based on data that New Jersey and other states provide themselves to the federal government. And we’ve readily shared the report’s data with state transportation departments and members of the media across the country.”
In his column, Fox argued the Reason study is flawed because it did not take into account increased costs associated with New Jersey’s multi-lane urban highways.
“It’s clear that the $2 million a mile statistic makes a nice headline but doesn’t hold up to scrutiny,” Fox said.
“If the spending per mile metric is punishing New Jersey for having highways that are six or eight lanes wide, as Mr. Fox alleges, then it would make sense that other states with wide highways would suffer too,” Hartgen responded. “But that is not the case.
“California, home to many of the busiest and widest highways in the country, spends $500,000 per mile,” Hartgen said. “New Jersey spends four times that — $2 million per mile. New Jersey spends three times as much as Massachusetts ($675,000 per mile), three-and-a-half times more than Florida ($572,000 per mile), four times as much as New York ($462,000 per mile), and 12 times more than Texas ($157,000 per mile), which is home to six of the 20 most populous cities in America.”
While Fox challenged the $2-million per mile figure from Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan libertarian think-tank, the transportation commissioner did not offer an alternate number.
“There’s no escaping the conclusion that New Jersey spends a lot of money on its state-administered highways and delivers poor performance in return,” Hartgen concluded. “The key question now is what will New Jersey do about it?”
That may be the biggest question of all. The state Transportation Trust Fund is out of cash and faces a $17 billion debt.
Christie is expected to address New Jersey’s highway dilemma Tuesday during the governor’s annual budget address to the State Legislature.