Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), and Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) were joined by anti-tax advocates today in releasing a statement reiterating their opposition to a billion dollar gas tax increase. The General Assembly approved a 23-cent gas tax hike last evening, with a half-cent sales tax reduction starting January 1, 2017 and another half-cent reduction on January 1, 2018.
Sen. Jennifer Beck, Sen. Mike Doherty and Sen. Gerry Cardinale were joined by anti-tax advocates in reiterating their opposition to a billion dollar gas tax increase. (Flickr)
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“I have heard the residents of New Jersey loud and clear and I remain steadfast in my opposition to a billion dollar, 23 cents per gallon increase in our gas tax,” said Senator Beck. “New Jersey residents see right through the fiscal shell game that is being played. Literally in three days, this Friday, July 1st, all 7 million New Jersey drivers will be faced with a billion dollar tax increase that will be imposed every time they take a trip to the beach, commute to work, or bring their kids to school. Without question, lowering the sales tax a penny over two years will not stop Democrats from raising it again as they have done before.”
“Additionally, I object to this tax hike being passed in the middle of the night, with no public input and few, if any legislators reading the new bill. Even Governor Corzine held public hearings when he attempted to advance his transportation plan. It is wrong for three people in a room at midnight to make this decision and rush it though in a handful of days without appropriate input from the public,” Beck concluded.
“Advocates for a 23 cent per gallon gas tax increase have never explained why we need $2 billion annually for transportation spending,” said Senator Doherty. “They’ve never seriously addressed the Reason Foundation report that shows we spend the most per mile in the nation or the disparity in spending figures cited by others. Before we ask drivers and taxpayers for even a penny more for our roads, I believe the state has an obligation to prove that the taxes and tolls already collected are spent wisely.”
“New Jersey drivers cannot afford the gas tax increase that is being proposed. Why must we raise one tax to lower another? Residents of our state demand more accountability for how our money is being spent. This legislation does nothing to address high costs – it only opens our residents up to higher taxes now and in the future,” said Senator Cardinale.
“While we applaud the efforts to reduce the state’s sales tax, we maintain our concern about any gas tax hike. We are hopeful in the coming days that lawmakers will continue to move towards a deal that puts taxpayers first and provides some improvement on how we spend our transportation dollars in this state,” added Erica Jedynak, State Director for Americans for Prosperity.
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