Lawmakers in New Jersey have approved a 23 cents-a-gallon increase on gasoline to pay for necessary transportation projects and end a statewide construction freeze. This is the first increase in gasoline tax in the state since 1988.
The new tax may take effect this month and will be offset by a sales tax reduction from 7% to 6.875% in 2017 and 6.625% in 2018. The tax will finance an eight-year, US$16 billion transportation programme that Gov. Chris Christie has said will improve the state’s infrastructure and economy.
New Jersey is one of several states evaluating different methods of increasing their transportation trust funds in 2016.
“It is encouraging to see that states continue to work out ways of paying for transportation projects. It is unpopular to raise taxes, but it seems like New Jersey lawmakers understand the importance of investing in infrastructure,” said Michele Stanley, NSSGA director of legislative and government affairs. NSSGA continues support increasing the national motor fuel user fee as a short-to-medium term solution. “It will be difficult to do at the national level, given the current political realities, but NSSGA will continue to ask Congress to come together and find a sustainable way of addressing the Highway Trust Fund shortfalls with a durable solution,” Stanley said.
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