Remember the days when New Jersey's gasoline tax was the second-lowest in the U.S.?
Those days, unfortunately, are long gone. With the 4-cent per gallon increase last year, which came on top of the 23-cent increase in 2016, New Jersey now has the ninth-highest gas tax in the nation. It has nearly tripled in scarcely more than two years, from 14.5 cents per gallon to 41.5 cents. And despite state Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio saying she was "cautiously optimistic" another gas price won't be necessary this fall, skepticism seems in order. An analyst for the Office of Legislative Services said an increase may be needed if fuel consumption does not “substantially increase” in the next few months.
An annual review of New Jersey's gas tax rate is required under a 2016 law that raised the tax to pay for transportation projects across the state. If the gas tax doesn't generate about $2 billion a year for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for road repairs and projects to fix our crumbling bridges and mass transit system, an increase is required to make up the deficit. The law will remain in force for another five years.
Read the full editorial here.