Gas Tax Hike Could Kill New Jersey's Famously Low Pump Prices

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gas tax hike could kill new jerseys famously low pump prices

A looming bump in New Jersey’s gas tax would mean fewer drivers from neighboring states crossing the Hudson and Delaware Rivers to take advantage of the state’s famously low pump prices.

The state’s transportation fund is almost empty, roads and bridges need repairs, and Democrat lawmakers and select Republicans are putting pressure on Governor Chris Christie to send the gas tax skyward, according to the New York Times.

How much higher? Try 23 cents/gallon more.

New Jersey residents now enjoy the second-lowest gas tax in the nation, at 14.5 cents/gallon. (That includes a 10.4-cent motor fuels tax and a 4-cent petroleum products tax.)

State Democrats want to raise the tax to 37.5 cents per gallon, citing a $46 million budget shortfall at New Jersey Transit and the poor condition of the state’s infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure a D-minus grade in its 2016 report.

A gas tax hike would allow the state to raise $20 billion in funds over the next decade. Christie kiboshed past attempts to raise the tax, but cracks are forming in the Governor’s resolve. The Democrats propose to repeal the state’s estate tax as a way of luring the other side into agreement.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done,” Mr. Christie said in the Times. “There is a lot of show-me that has to be done. But as you know, at the end of any session, miracles happen.”

According to, New Jersey’s lowest pump price this morning was $1.87/gallon, found at several North Brunswick Township stations. The state average of $2.11 undercuts the national average of $2.32/gallon. Compared to its neighbors, New Jersey drivers are laughing. New York’s average price this morning is $2.43, and Pennsylvania’s is $2.50.

The state’s transportation department would still receive federal funding if the fund runs out, but state-financed projects won’t get off the ground.


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  • RHD RHD on Jun 23, 2016

    If they raise the gas tax three cents the first month, then a penny per month over two years, no one would even notice. The law has to be written with a poison pill: a stipulation that if any of it gets diverted to anything other than its originally intended purpose, then it gets immediately revoked, and gas prices will immediately fall to pre-tax levels.

    • Truecarhipsterdouche Truecarhipsterdouche on Jun 23, 2016

      Come on...this is the government we're talking you really think taxes go to improving the lives of regular, hardworking, taxpayers? NIET!!!

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jul 13, 2016

    Almost no one crosses the rivers just to get gas and save a few cents at the pump, because all the major crossings are tolls (and don't bring up Scudders Falls, it's free today but will be tolled as soon as the rebuild is complete). Yeah, if you'll be in NJ for some reason anyway you may fill up your tank, but that's different. If this goes through, I wonder whether there will be a new push to change the law to allow customers to pump their own gas, with the stated purpose of knocking a few cents a gallon off the price.

  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.