Says Failure of Ballot Measure May Prevent Billions of Borrowing, Force Leaders to Address Out-of-Control Spending
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) has announced his opposition to Public Question #2, a ballot measure before voters this year to amend the New Jersey Constitution to dedicate state gas tax revenues to the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).
Sen. Mike Doherty opposes the passage of Public Question #2, saying the failure of the measure may prevent billions of new borrowing and force leaders to address out-of-control transportation spending. (SenateNJ.com)
“I believe the passage of Public Question #2 would give the state the green light to add $12 billion in new debt,” said Doherty. “Our state is in the fiscal hole it’s in because we keep borrowing for things we can’t afford, when we really should be tightening our belts.”
Doherty said the failure of Public Question #2 would put the state’s ability to issue that planned debt in jeopardy.
“The failure of Public Question #2 would send the Governor and legislative leaders the message that New Jerseyans want them to address the out-of-control cost of our transportation projects, as I’ve long advocated,” added Doherty. “If we don’t address spending, we’re just wasting billions and counting down the days until someone in Trenton calls for the next gas tax increase.”
He highlighted language in A-10, the legislation enacted to reauthorize the TTF, which directly links the state’s authority to borrow to the passage of the ballot measure.
Specifically: “Commencing on the day that Assembly Concurrent Resolution No.1 of 2015, a constitutional amendment to Article VIII, section II, paragraph 4 of the New Jersey Constitution, takes effect, and ending June 30, 2024, the authority shall not issue transportation program bonds in excess of $12,000,000,000.”
Assembly Concurrent Resolution No.1 (ACR-1) was the legislation to amend the constitution which appears on the ballot as Public Question #2.
“There’s much dispute about what will happen if Public Question #2 fails, but we know for sure what happens if it passes — $12 billion in new debt,” said Doherty. “That’s enough for me to vote ‘NO.'”
Doherty is the sponsor of legislation to repeal the gas tax (S-2717) and reduce New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation road costs (S-1888).
An online petition he maintains with Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) to repeal the recently imposed 23 cent per gallon gas tax increase can be signed at http://www.senatenj.com/gastaxrepeal/.
The petition has already been signed more than 18,000 times.
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