New Jersey Road Projects Shut Down as State Spins Its Wheels on Gas Tax

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
new jersey road projects shut down as state spins its wheels on gas tax

The Garden State remains the cheapest place to fill up in the Northeast, and you can thank government indecision for it.

Lawmakers in New Jersey can’t decide on what to do about their state’s bone-dry transportation fund, and residents are equally divided on how to pay for future road projects. That means pump prices will stay low for the time being.

A plan to raise the state’s famously low gas taxes by 23 cents a gallon hit a brick wall before the Independence Day weekend, after the Legislature failed to reach an agreement. As a result, Governor Chris Christie issued a call to stop all non-essential road and rail projects.

The state’s Transportation Trust Fund is expected to run out of money on August 1, though federal funding will still roll in for certain services.

Residents polled about a plan to amend the state’s constitution (to have all revenue from future and current gas taxes go towards road projects) were as divided as British referendum voters. Only 51 percent supported a constitutional amendment, which will be a question on this November’s ballot.

“With TTF funding soon to run out, and various solutions floated recently by the Governor and legislature seemingly going nowhere, voters remain lukewarm to the idea of amending the state constitution in order to address the TTF’s shortfall,” Krista Jenkins, director of polling firm PublicMind, told

The shutdown of non-essential projects means pothole repair and road resurfacing won’t go ahead until new state-level transportation funds are found. According to the New York Times, the plan to hike the gas tax, which was supported by Christie, bogged down after lawmakers couldn’t agree whether to offset the gas tax increase with a reduction in other areas, such as the sales tax or estate tax.

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jul 11, 2016

    If gas taxes fix roads, then they should keep pace with inflation. They are fair...use more gas, pay more. Drive a heavier car, pay more. An inflation index would fix the problem. No GPS tracking/taxes, no government database. (hey, they know where you are anyway...there are a LOT of ez pass readers for tracking/stats, not revenue) I suffer the NYC roads every day. They all suck, save the NY Thruway, Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, all separately managed toll roads. We have to pay for inflation indexed user tax is the most fair way. Using an SUV/CUV is entirely reasonable on these gotta be able to take a hit. Christie scares me. I want him nowhere near the White House. His veto of a much needed rail tunnel under the Hudson shows a shortsightedness you don't want in folks up that high. Yes, it was expensive, but sometimes you have to fix the roof when you don't really want to-and money is historically cheap now.. Don't confuse wasted tax money (war in Iraq, Dick Cheney's pension and medical care) with tax money spent on essential services, like bridge construction. We have a lovely set of 1930's and 1940's roads, but since Robert Moses, nothing has been built...we've only minimally maintained roads that my Grandfather paid for, drove with his 59 Imperial, in a world with half the traffic. Index gas tax to inflation...use it ONLY on roads and bridges, no subways, buses or other mass transit (the cross subsidy kills roads in NYC...all that bridge toll is flushed down the subway). I've been lucky enough to drive in first world nations....and our roads aren't first world any more. The whole estate tax or sales tax juggle in conjunction with this was just to muddy the waters, or get CC's campaign contributors the estate tax relief they so want. You do realize that the vast majority of normal Americans are below Estate Tax this IS a 1% issue only and not a fair swap off gas taxes to fix roads. Someone drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub, please.

    • See 1 previous
    • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jul 12, 2016

      @56BelAire This is the sort of project where you need buy in from NY, NJ and the Feds. The existing tunnel was built in the age of steam, and every rail commuter can cite my automotive complaints about ancient infrastructure. If we have the money to re-arrange sand in backward nations we have no business being in, a tunnel in the middle of one of the richest areas of the US is a valid project. CC is a bit nuts. Look at his current education proposals which would impoverish urban districts while giving a tax cut to rich areas...somewhere, the Koch Bros. are smiling. We have lots of money, all for the wrong reasons, but the tap closes when it would be used for the general good.

  • 2manycars 2manycars on Jul 11, 2016

    Stop squandering money on social programs and there will be plenty of money to fix the roads.

    • See 2 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Jul 13, 2016

      @highdesertcat Spending on welfare has been curtailed for the past few decades. Spending on the military took up 55% of the discretionary spending in 2015. Aside from the military, the vast bulk of govt. is non-discretionary spending (Social Security and Medicare). As for foodstamps - there are plenty of working people in foodstamps (who get paid minimum wage or close to it and have to support a family). And there are plenty of people who miss the threshold on being eligible for foodstamps and have to turn to food banks (which have been burdened by ever increasing demand).

  • SCE to AUX Historically, the Land Cruiser sold ~3000 units annually in the US for its last 15 years, so the answer is no.
  • Theflyersfan Oh boy - the sequential manual transmission. Otherwise known as "Your 16 year old driving stick the first time is smoother" transmission. I know automakers were trying new things out around this time and seeing what would stick (hint: the dual clutches won out), but even in testing, the Toyota engineers should have said いいえ、ジャンクです。(No. It's a piece of junk.) Is this seller going to get $8500? Doubt it. Way too much interior work is needed and it just looks worn out in there. St. Petersburg - salt air year round can do some wonders under the cover as well. But the exterior still looks good which makes me thing it was garage kept. So, for $8,500 - no chance. But for maybe $5,500 to $6,000 and the buyer doesn't mind some extra work to clean up the interior, maybe a decent top down sun down fun car. Just hope the transmission holds up.
  • Dukeisduke Only if there's a significant price difference between it and the Lexus GX. Otherwise, no. If they do bring it over, they'll have to ditch that ugly grille.
  • Theflyersfan Chris here just gave me a big old dose of nightmare fuel with this. Let me explain... This past Saturday, driving home after doing some furniture shopping. I-64 Westbound is closed for extensive repairs in my part of Louisville so I had to take surface streets home. No problem as it's basically a straight shot from said furniture store to my domicile. Now, I had that recent spinal fusion surgery in my neck complete with four screws, some plates, artificial bone, and the chance that things might not have healed correctly so things are a bit tender and sore still. Driving home in a part of the area named St. Matthews when I pass a Walgreens. Barreling out of this Walgreens and totally ignoring the stop sign, and situational awareness of ANYTHING around him is a truck, very similar to the one shown above. Same color even. It's a four lane road - main drag through town. I'm in the inside lane and this 7,000 pound monstrosity is suddenly feet from turning an MX-5 into shrapnel. Top is down, had my wits, quickly downshift and manage to do a wild u-turn like move into the oncoming traffic lanes but avoided the hit. The neck, however, didn't like the strain and trauma and sent parts of my body into fits of limited sensations and pain. The truck driver, realizing what he's done suddenly stops. My top is down, windows are down, and we make eye contact as I pull alongside the person I have suddenly wished death on inside a flaming pit. And if I repeat the sentences of what was yelled at that jack***es face, I'll be on insta-ban here in milliseconds. He yells over, "Man, I'm sorry...I didn't see ya!" Well, ***face, learn what a stop sign means and scan the scene first. And get something that you can see over and in front instead of the blind spots that hide everyone under the age of 14 in front of the truck. So, I'm all for forcing these overdone, oversized, overfed, overstyled, guzzling, tiny-genital compensating redneck wannabe road monsters taken out back and put to rest and we return to normalcy. Made it home hurting like hell and tests were done today to check for further injury. And that Mazda can turn and spin on a dime... Try that move in that Sierra AT4XBZQZW8! whatever.
  • Dukeisduke I've read stories about that air suspension system - insanely high pressures, and crazy expensive to repair. I loved the Mark VIII's styling back then, but it definitely hasn't aged well.Also:"Mark VII was the first Mark available with dual front airbags..." Did you mean Mark VIII?