Sorry, New Jersey - Your Wonderfully Low Gas Prices Are Going Up

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

After enjoying zero add-ons to their state gas tax since 1988, New Jersey residents are about to get a shock at the pumps.

The Garden State will raise its gas tax by 23 cents a gallon as early as next week in order to fund state infrastructure projects, the New York Times reports. The move raises the tax from the second-lowest in the country (14.5 cents per gallon) to above the national average.

As bad as this may seem to residents used to low, low pump prices, there’s a trade-off.

While the state refills its bone-dry Transportation Trust Fund (which ran out this summer), residents will see the state sales tax drop over the next two years, from 7 percent to 6.625 percent. The estate tax will disappear after 2018.

It took some time for the House to reach a compromise, as Governor Chris Christie fought hard to keep the gas tax status quo. State Democrats eventually agreed to lower other taxes as a way of offsetting the higher gas tax.

While federal infrastructure funding continued, state-funded projects came to a halt when the transportation fund needle hit “empty.” Once the boosted tax hits the pumps, the fund should collect $2 billion each year, matched by federal dollars. That gives New Jersey $32 billion over the next eight years to spend on infrastructure that the American Society of Civil Engineers rates at a D-minus.

You can bet that tax collectors in New York and Pennsylvania are pleased with the move, as it means fewer drivers crossing the New Jersey border to fill up at a cheaper price.

[Image: Shinya Suzuki/ Flickr]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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17 of 144 comments
  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Oct 02, 2016

    There should be no estate taxes - period. I don't care who you are or how you got your money. That money was taxed when it was earned. That money is also taxed when it is spent. Government should not be entitled to yet another cut at death.

    • See 3 previous
    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Oct 03, 2016

      @28-Cars-Later Partly because we have very low, and easy to defeat, estate taxes. The British broke up the feudal aristocracy, after nearly a millennium, by imposing severe estate taxes and a progressive income tax.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 02, 2016

    Cry me a river of tears. New Jersey's gas tax is going to 37.5 cents; Pennsylvania's is 51.4 cents.

    • See 6 previous
    • Old Man Pants Old Man Pants on Oct 03, 2016

      @28-Cars-Later "you have to fill in the younger set" Nope. It's their own damn fault they're young.

  • BunkerMan BunkerMan on Oct 03, 2016

    I have no sympathy at all. Here in NB, Canada, we pay 23.6 cents per litre of fuel. That's not too bad compared to some other provinces (which can be almost double that). But wait, there's more! We have to pay 15% sales tax on the fuel as well, which is applicable on the fuel tax. Our tax is being taxed. Using very basic math (which may be slightly off, I apologize): At current gas prices of around $1 per litre (taxes in, of course) close to $0.312 per litre is tax. At current exchange rates, that's approximately $0.94 US per gallon. I won't even mention Europe.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 03, 2016

      I think it was about 1.49/L in Switzerland in June. Since the USD and CHF were about three pips from each other at the time, that's about $1.55 per L x 4 = $6.20/gal.

  • White Shadow White Shadow on Oct 03, 2016

    BTW, the gas tax hike in NJ is not yet a done deal. We will find out after the vote on Wednesday.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 03, 2016

      What??? Voters get a say in how they're taxed? Oh, wait. Comrade Stalin allegedly said it's not important who votes, but who counts the votes. Never mind.