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New Jersey Gas Tax Increases Today

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, New Jersey’s gas tax will once again increase, though by less than a penny today Sunday, Oct. 1, thanks to a 2016 law meant to support transportation projects around the state.

Continue reading New Jersey Gas Tax Increases Today

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Democratic Senate Candidate Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, Ducks Debate with Republican Candidate Mike Koontz in District 37

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Teaneck NJ, on 10/27/2021 Mike Koontz and his two assembly running mates, Edward Durfee and Perley Patrick, participated in a sign wave at the 545 Cedar Lane office of Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, the Democratic Senate Candidate for the 37th District of New Jersey. The purpose of the event was to bring attention to both Gordon Johnson and his running mates, Ellen Park and Shama Haider, who replaced his original choices for Assembly because of questions of ethics and bias commentary. They refuse to debate the Republican Senate and Assembly candidates Koontz, Durfee and Patrick.
Koontz explains “We believe we extended an invitation by accepting The Bergen County League of Woman Voters request to participate in a political forum on or about 8/18/2021 to be scheduled on October 13. Either as a Live or Zoom event. As the date approached I contacted the League to find that Johnson had declined the debate a short time before the planned date. “
Mr. Koontz then contacted the Johnson office to find a surprised staff that such a request had been received. However the staff member indicated the importance in such a forum as a public service. This encounter was relayed to the League with no avail.

Continue reading Democratic Senate Candidate Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, Ducks Debate with Republican Candidate Mike Koontz in District 37

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NJ to Hike Gas Tax 9.3 Cents Per Gallon

self serve gas

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

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 on Friday that lower fuel consumption trends, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will necessitate a gas tax increase of 9.3 cents per gallon in order to ensure compliance with the 2016 law that requires a steady stream of revenue to support the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) program.

In 2019 the Reason Foundation confirmed what New Jersey drivers may have had a hunch,the state has some of the worst road conditions in America ranking dead last in a new report on the country’s highway system.According to the annual highway report, released by the Reason Foundation, New Jersey has the worst urban traffic congestion in the U.S.

Continue reading NJ to Hike Gas Tax 9.3 Cents Per Gallon

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New Jersey Now Collects More Revenue Per Capita from Drivers than Any Other State


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.

Continue reading New Jersey Now Collects More Revenue Per Capita from Drivers than Any Other State

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New Jersey Drivers Pay the Bulk Road Infrastructure Costs though taxes and tolls


file photo by Boyd Loving

July 26,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to the Tax Foundation Gas taxes are typically used to fund infrastructure maintenance and new projects, but the share of state and local road spending that is covered by tolls, user fees, and taxes varies drastically. It ranges from only 12 percent in Alaska to 76.3 percent in Hawaii.

New Jersey drivers pay the fifth-highest share of the cost to fund roads and bridges, with motorists kicking in 67 percent of the price tag through taxes and tolls, according to the Tax Foundation Study .

New Jersey only ranks behind Hawaii, Delaware, New York and Florida of states where local revenues pay a majority of road costs.

While the study did conclude that , “States should attempt to fund infrastructure through user taxes and fees as much as possible, internalizing the costs associated with using the state’s transportation systems” . Its once again disappointing yet expected that New Jersey continues to lead the nation in all the wrong things .

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Reader Calls Bergen Light Rail a taxpayer ripoff like you’ve never seen

Trolly Car HBLR

What this article omits is that the cost of this boondoggle is $1.3 billion and climbing. So for $130,000,000 a mile, we will get what the proponents project to be 24,000 trips. At $2.25 per trip ( current light rail ticket price) assuming the projected number of rides are taken every single day of the year (a heroic assumption), it will take 65 years to pay this off, not counting interest.

The money for this comes from the newly hiked gas tax which will apparently be diverted from fixing roads and bridges to pleasing a few of Loretta’s constituents.

This is a taxpayer ripoff like you’ve never seen.

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gas station bike


Funds available to take extension project through environmental-impact study, but money from Trump administration now appears iffy

A renewed state Transportation Trust Fund has reignited the planning process for the proposed light rail in eastern Bergen County, a $1.3 billion project that local officials say will ease traffic congestion and stimulate economic growth.

After a long period of delay, last month officials from New Jersey Transit released a draft of the latest revised plan for the proposed 10-mile extension of the Hudson-Bergen Line, which now ends in North Bergen. NJ Transit is in the midst of a 60-day public comment period on the latest plans, which would take the line up to Englewood, where two public hearings were held yesterday.

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Lawmakers seek changes to TTF program, including transparency rollback

Senate President Sweeney_theridgewoodblog


03/14/17 05:32 AM EDT

TRENTON — Democratic lawmakers in the Statehouse are considering major changes to New Jersey’s infrastructure spending program but are being met with resistance from their Republican colleagues.

The complex, 21-page bill (S3075) would enact broad amendments to the law passed last year authorizing the state’s Transportation Trust Fund to spend $2 billion per year on road, bridge and transit projects.

The new measure, sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, would strip a key transparency requirement, delay the creation of a panel to review the proposals and create a new system by which counties and towns could take over stalled projects. It would also allow the state to “bundle” several related projects, potentially speeding up environmental reviews and engineering work.

Introduced a week ago, the bill was quickly ushered through committee and was scheduled for a vote in the state Senate Monday, but never went on the board. Sweeney said he did not have enough support to call a vote without first sending the bill though a second reading. Such a predicament suggests fairly significant Republican opposition.

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There was a lot of money behind last year’s push to raise N.J.’s gas tax

gas tax nj

By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for
on March 02, 2017 at 7:02 PM, updated March 02, 2017 at 7:57 PM

TRENTON — One of the state’s leading proponents in last year’s fight to raise the gas tax for the Transportation Trust Fund spent nearly $4.4 million lobbying last year, according to an Election Law Enforcement Commission analysis.

The Engineers Labor Employer Cooperative more than quadrupled its spending over 2015, making it the highest-spending special interest organization in 2016.

Total lobbying in the state last year reached $68.3 million, a slight drop from the year prior, but still one of the most expensive years on record, the commission said.

The engineers cooperative, embarked on an ad campaign pushing both the 23 cent gasoline tax hike and a constitutional amendment dedicating all tax revenues to the Transportation Trust Fund, beat out even the deep pockets of the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s prominent teachers union.

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NJ Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean “Rather than work for headlines, Senate Democrats should start working for New Jersey.”

Sweeney & Prieto

Kean Urges NJ Senate Democrats to Spend Less Time Criticizing Washington & More Time Working to Fix New Jersey

February 19,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called on New Jersey Senate Democrats to spend less time criticizing Washington and more time working to fix problems here in New Jersey:

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called on Senate Democrats to stop working for headlines and start working for New Jersey. (

“With Senate Democrats so focused on federal affairs in Washington, they’ve ignored work on reforms they have the power to advance in Trenton that could have a real impact on the lives of every New Jerseyan.

“They’ve planned votes to express opposition, but they haven’t planned any votes on cutting property taxes, nor have they planned votes on creating opportunities for students and job seekers, or on ethics reforms that would help to rebuild trust in our government institutions.

“Rather than work for headlines, Senate Democrats should start working for New Jersey.”

Senate Democrats blocked efforts by Senate Republicans to bring the following three bills up for a vote that would address New Jersey’s crisis of affordability and help to rebuild residents’ trust in government.

S-1557 (Beck) – Provides full forfeiture of pension of elected or appointed official convicted of any crime touching office.
S-1888 (Doherty) – Establishes State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.
S-2554 (Kyrillos) – Sets level for health care benefits; requires employee contributions; prohibits reimbursement of Medicare Part B; adds member to SHBP/SEHBP plan design committees; requires retirees to purchase health care through exchanges.

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SHOCK : Some N.J. Republicans think revenue from gas tax increase should only pay for roads


file photo by Boyd Loving


01/19/17 05:39 AM EST

Some Republicans who opposed the deal to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund have a rallying cry after losing that fight: The new money should only be spent on roads.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, kicking off her campaign for governor on Tuesday, implied as much in her speech. She criticized the new $16 billion deal, which includes $12 billion in borrowing over eight years and a 23-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax, saying the state “cannot afford to borrow billions of dollars to build a new rail line when our roads and our bridges are crumbling.”

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NJ Taxpayers Get Played for Fools Again


NJ gas tax could be used to prop up public pension system

By Michael Symons December 8, 2016 6:39 PM

In a roundabout way, revenues from the increased gas tax might help shore up New Jersey’s beleaguered pension funds.

A proposed bill, S2842/A4388, would enable the Transportation Trust Fund to borrow directly from the pension funds, rather than sell bonds to investors. There would be no cap to how much could be borrowed. The pension funds are typically limited to buying 10 percent of any single bond sale.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the pension funds would benefit from earning a higher interest rate than they do buying U.S. Treasury bonds. And the TTF would avoid paying the fees normally associated with a bond sale, Sweeney said.

“Why are we giving fees to Wall Street? Why are we letting other people make interest off of us when we have a pension fund that is woefully underfunded?” Sweeney said.

Sweeney estimated the impact by talking about a hypothetical $1.2 billion in borrowing by the TTF, which he said would cost the TTF $60 million in interest, at an interest rate of 5 percent, and $6 million in underwriting fees to Wall Street.

“The money is there. This is a safe bet. This is not a risk. We don’t want to risk people’s pension funds,” Sweeney said. “Why pay someone else 5 percent when we could pay ourselves?”

The bill wouldn’t require the pension funds to invest in TTF and New Jersey Infrastructure Bank bonds, but it would lift the limits on what the State Investment Council could choose to do. Other types of state debt, such as for school construction, would not be included.

Read More: NJ gas tax could be used to prop up public pension system |

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Say Good-bye to Cheap Gas , Say Good-bye to one of the last Reasons to Live in New Jersey

Sweeney & Prieto

November 1,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The nation’s second-lowest gas tax ended officially at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, and was replaced by one of the highest per-gallon rates in the nation , The .23 cent increase gives New Jersey now 37.5 cents-per-gallon.

While the party line from Trenton is that money will be used to refill the depleted TTF or Transportation Trust Fund providing the money New Jersey bridges and roads need for a massive investment .

A few things to keep in mind when you pay up at the pump;

The average cost of road repair in the US is $39,000 per mile but in NJ it’s $2 million a mile; New Jersey spends eight times the national average on its state-controlled highways.

The Reason Foundation says New Jersey spends just over $2 million per state-controlled mile on construction, maintenance and administration, triple the roughly $675,000 spent by the next-highest state, Massachusetts, and more than eight times the national average of $39,000. I call it “out of control” spending.

The state DOT disputes that number. But with reports the reconstruction of Route 35 were more than $27 million per mile, it’s clear our costs are out of control.

The state of New Jersey funds highway, bridge, and rail projects through its Transportation Trust Fund, which relies on borrowing and gas tax revenue to contribute $1.225 billion to the state’s overall $1.6 billion construction budget this year. Can anyone say “Ponzi Scheme” ?

Why the deficit and lack of funds? Is it because the corruption in Trenton has already used these allocated tax monies to offset other programs, loans, or deficits. Bad deals are made by politicians looking to get elected, guaranteeing political donations from unions, keeping project labor agreements and prevailing wages artificially inflating the costs of road work.

By some accounts, New Jersey spends the 3rd most of any state on transportation funding.

So as we say good bye to cheap gas perhaps you are also saying good bye to one of the last reasons left  for living in New Jersey .Let’s face it New Jersey is last in almost everything and being the worst place to live is also even getting more expensive.
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Doherty Votes ‘NO’ on Gas Tax

Senator Mike Doherty

Calls for Passage of His Legislation to Study & Control Excessive Road Costs
October 8,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) voted ‘NO’ on increasing the state gas tax by 23 cents per gallon, saying the state hasn’t done enough to control excessive costs related to road construction:

Sen. Mike Doherty at a roadside rally in Bridgewater on June 22, 2016 opposing a gas tax increase with Assemblyman John DiMaio, Assemblyman Erik Peterson, Americans for Prosperity-New Jersey, and concerned residents. (

“My office has fielded thousands of calls from constituents who oppose this gas tax increase, and my vote ‘NO’ today was for them.

“Many callers have said that the state doesn’t use the gas taxes it already collects wisely, and it doesn’t deserve a penny more, let alone 23 cents per gallon more. I agree completely.

“If they’re going to force this tax increase upon unwilling drivers, the Governor, Senate President and Assembly Speaker should agree to advance and enact my legislation to get excessive transportation costs under control. That this cost-control bill continues to be blocked is unconscionable.”

Doherty is the sponsor of S-1888, which would create the “State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force,” to examine state transportation spending and offer recommendations for reducing New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation road construction costs.

More than 25,000 people signed an online petition run by Doherty and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) in opposition to the gas tax increase.

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file photo by Boyd Loving

Christie’s executive order idled some 3,000 construction workers during the warm weather. Can it be lifted in time to make a dent in outstanding projects?

With the political impasse over transportation funding that has gripped Trenton for the past three months now settled, New Jersey lawmakers are scheduled to vote tomorrow on the legislation that will hike the state’s gas tax by 23 cents. The proposed increase already has Gov. Chris Christie’s endorsement and is expected to pass with bipartisan support.

But still uncertain is exactly when Christie will be willing to lift a hold on state-funded road, bridge, and rail projects that’s been in effect since July and how much that shutdown, which sidelined an estimated 3,000 construction workers, has impacted New Jersey’s economy and its residents. In some places, local officials simply ignored the construction freeze since the state money had already been promised, but others were concerned about possible fines and are now anxious to see the road crews return to work.

Christie, a Republican, announced on Friday that he is ready to sign off on the gas-tax increase needed to renew the state Transportation Trust Fund since Democrats who control the Legislature say they will authorize more than $1 billion in new tax cuts. If approved and signed into law this week, the gas tax increase isn’t expected to go into effect immediately, but officials say it would likely be in place by the beginning of November at the latest.

Still, the construction freeze remains in effect and Christie’s office offered no clear idea yesterday of when it will be rescinded.