"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund

By June 30, 2006, New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund will be depleted of almost all revenue available for maintaining and building the state’s roads and mass transit systems. Nearly every penny paid in state gas taxes and other dedicated taxes and fees will be needed to cover debt from the state’s past transportation spending.

Earlier in the year, Democrat John Wisniewski, chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, called for an increase in the gas tax from 10.5 cent- per-gallon to 29.5 cents. However, our representatives in Trenton punted and now legislators aim to take up the matter during a "lame duck” session in November or December. Once safely elected, the State Assembly will be back to business as usual, spending with abandon and raising taxes.

In the mean time, the bankrupt state transportation fund has become an issue in the gubernatorial race. The Republican candidate, Doug Forrester has issued a pledge not to raise any taxes, including the gas tax and the Democrat, Jon Corzine adamantly refuses to make a no-tax-hike pledge. Forrester plans to replenish the transportation fund from within the state’s $28 billion budget and Corzine is banking on the “lame duck” legislators to bail him out by raising the gas tax before a new Governor is sworn into office.

In terms of the gas tax, it really doesn’t matter who wins the governor’s race or control of the state’s assembly in November – the tax will be increased and signed into law before any newly elected representatives take office in 2006.

Now this may come as a surprise, but we believe the gas tax is a fair tax and it should be raised if necessary to fund the state’s transportation needs. Building and maintaining public infrastructure such as highways, bridges and transit systems should be the responsibility of state government and a tax that is tied directly to an individual’s use of a public service is an equitable method for raising the necessary funds.

Public infrastructure should be self-financing through tolls, fares, and other transportation related consumption taxes, such as the one on gasoline. The rub is getting our politicians to use the revenues generated from the gas tax strictly for roads and related transpiration needs. This is the issue Corzine and Forrester should be debating - how each would ensure revenue from the gas tax is not used for any other purpose.

Aside from limiting the use of gas tax revenue, there is another idea that could help New Jersey rejuvenate the state’s Transportation Trust Fund – stop sending gas tax revenue to Washington.

Republican House member, Scott Garrett, has introduced a reform bill that would let states opt out of the federal gas tax, in part or entirely, and allow a state to keep the revenue from the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax the federal government now imposes.
"The National Interstate Highway System has been completed," said Garrett in a statement. "There needs to be a new system set in place that allows the states more discretion over the transportation programs, maximizes the resources available for our transportation system, and is more equitable for New Jersey and other donor states like it."
Just as New Jersey receives only receives 57 cents for every tax dollar we send to Washington, the state receives only 92 cents for every gas tax dollar collected in the state and sent to the federal government. The Garrett reform measure is something New Jersey’s entire congressional delegation should be able to back. Unfortunately, the state’s Democrat controlled delegation, led by Senator Corzine, enjoy controlling the slush fund that enables them to buy off special interests and fund projects that have nothing to do with transpiration infrastructure.

Once again New Jersey gets the short end of the federal appropriation stick and it has nothing to do with the “rich state/ poor state” meme. For example: Alaska gets $5.18 for every gas tax dollar it pays in, Washington, D.C. gets $3.32; Rhode Island, receives $2.40; and South Dakota, $2.13. New Jersey’s poor return can only be attributed to poor representation by our Democrat Senators and Congressmen.

So rather than debate a raise in the state’s gas tax, a done deal before either candidate can become governor, Forrester and Corzine should debate plans for limiting the use of gas tax revenue to roads, brides and mass transit and Senator Corzine's failure to secure New Jersey’s fair share of federal tax revenue.


At 9:24 AM, Anonymous njcons said...

I couldn't agree with you more about getting more dollars from Washington. When I wrote about this back in June the Ledger had a figure about how much you would have to raise the gas tax to cover the deficiet. It was startling. Rasing the gas tax a few cents does nothing but put hardship onto NJ drivers. Better to sell the turnpike authority.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

The problem with this is that it does not address the reason the fund is broke. The current tax on gas is plenty to fun the maintenance of our roads.

The reason the fund is broke is because for the past 15 years the state has borrowed from the fund, used the fund, to back bonds, etc. It is to the point now that most of the gasoline tax which is collected is used to pay debt.

Raising the gas tax helps relieve the pressure by putting more money there to pave, but it has not stopped the borrowing.

I wrote about this in July. Yes, we are going to pay, but we should not acquiesce to paying until there are protections put in to prevent using the fund as a cash account.


Post a Comment

<< Home

 Contact Us

  • Email Us
  • Blog Roll Us!



  • Atom Feed
  • Bloglines
  • Feedburner
  • Feedster
  • Add to Google
  • Add to My MSN
  • Add to My Yahoo
  • News Is Free

    Recent Posts

  • New Orleans Mayor Sends Police, Firefighters On Fr...
  • The More They Waste, The More They Make
  • Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers # 16
  • We are all Weary
  • We Sure Could Use a Little Good News Today
  • DoJo MoJo Carnival
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Hurricane Katrina Victim Relief
  • New Jersey SAT Scores Lower Than National Average
  • The Iraq Connection


  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • April 2008
  • November 2008
  • January 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • February 2012

    Online Journals

  • National Review

  • Opinion Journal

  • Real Clear Politics

  • Weekly Standard

  • Blog Roll

  • A Blog For All
  • Althouse
  • Ankle Biting Pundits
  • Barista of Bloomfield Avenue
  • Betsy's Page
  • Blue Crab Boulevard
  • Blogs For Condi
  • Bob the Corgi
  • Brainster's Blog
  • BuzzMachine
  • Captain's Quarter's
  • Cinnaman
  • Coalition of the Swilling
  • CWA-NJ
  • Dino's Forum
  • Daily Mail
  • Don Surber
  • DynamoBuzz
  • eCache
  • Exit 4
  • Fausta's Blog
  • GOP Bloggers
  • Instapundit
  • Joe's Journal
  • Kate Spot
  • Kausfiles.com
  • Little Green Footballs
  • Michelle Malkin
  • More Mnmouth Musings
  • Parkway Rest Stop
  • Patrick Ruffini
  • Polipundit
  • Power Line
  • Right Wing News
  • Roger L. Simon
  • The Blue State Conservatives
  • Riehl World View
  • Red Jersey
  • Right, Wing-Nut!
  • Sid in the City
  • Tiger Hawk
  • The Truth Laid Bear
  • Tim Blair
  • Wizbang

  • Sid in the City

    Majority Accountability Project


    New Jersey Blogs


  • 11th and Washington

  • A Blog For All
  • A Planet Where Apes Evolved From Man?!?
  • Armies of Liberation
  • Atlantic Highland Muse
  • Attack of the 15.24 Mete

  • Barista of Bloomfield Avenue
  • BeLow Me
  • Big Windbag
  • Blanton's and Ashton's
  • Blue State Conservatives
  • Burning Feathers
  • BuzzMachine

  • Clifton Blogs
  • Coalition of the Swilling
  • Cobweb Studios
  • CoffeeGrounds
  • Constitutional Conservative
  • Confessions of a Jersey Goddess
  • Corzine Watch
  • Crazy Jackie
  • Cresting Acrocorinthus
  • Cripes, Suzette!

  • Daniella's Misadventures
  • Did I Say That Out Loud
  • Dojo Mojo
  • Dossy's Blog
  • Down the Shore
  • DynamoBuzz

  • eCache
  • Enlighten-NewJersey
  • Eye On Hoboken
  • Exit 4
  • Exit Zero
  • Extreme-Psychosis

  • Fausta's Blog
  • Fausti's Book Quest
  • Fractals of Change
  • Frenchtown NJ Blog

  • GiggleChick
  • Gregg Gethard's Amazing Personal Journey
  • goethe re scape

  • Hoboken Rock City

  • IamBillPower
  • If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawn-mower
  • Imaginary Therapy
  • Inadmissible Evidence

  • Jersey Beat
  • Jersey Perspective
  • Jersey Side
  • Jersey Style
  • Jersey Writers
  • Joe's Journal

  • Karl's Corner
  • Kate Spot

  • Laughing At The Pieces
  • Likelihood of Confusion
  • Liss Is More

  • Mamacita
  • Mary's Lame Attempt at Fame
  • Media in Trouble
  • Michael Carroll
  • Mister Snitch!
  • MucknMire
  • My Life as a Rabid Blog
  • My New Jersey

  • New Jersey Eminent Domain Law
  • NJ Conservative
  • NJ Fiscal Folly
  • New Jersey For Change
  • New Jersey Weblogs
  • NJ Spoken Word
  • Northeast Corridor

  • Parkway Rest Stop
  • Philly2Hoboken.com
  • Poetic Leanings
  • Poor Impulse Control
  • Professor Kim's News Notes
  • Property Tax NJ

  • Rain Angel
  • Riehl World View

  • Shamrocketship
  • Shipwrecks
  • SloppyDawg
  • Sluggo Needs a Nap
  • SmadaNeK
  • Static Silence

  • Tami,The One True
  • Tammany on the Hudson
  • Tequila Shots For The Soul
  • The Art of Getting By
  • The Center of New Jersey Life
  • The Daily Fry
  • The Duc Pond
  • The Jersey Shore Real Estate Bubble
  • The Joy of Soup
  • The Mark(ings) of Zorro
  • The New Wisdom
  • The Nightfly
  • The Opinion Mill
  • The Pink Panther
  • The Political Dogs
  • The Rix Mix
  • This Full House
  • Tiger Hawk
  • Tomato Nation
  • Toxiclabrat
  • Twisty

  • Unbillable Hours
  • Usdin.Net

  • Where Is The Remote
  • Wine Goddess

  • Xpatriated Texan

  • Links

  • NJ Governor
  • NJ Legislature
  • Bob Menendez Information

  • Blog Rings

  • Blog Explosion
  • Blog Directory
  • Blogsnow
  • Blogwise
  • Blogstreet
  • Blogshares
  • Blogarama
  • Blog Digger
  • Daypop
  • Globe of Blogs
  • Blog Search Engine

  • Ecosystem Status

  • Who Links Here