Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) reiterated his opposition to increasing New Jersey’s gas tax, calling the proposal a “loser” for New Jersey.
Sen. Jennifer Beck and Sen. Mike Doherty held a press conference to oppose a gas tax increase proposal at the New Jersey State House on June 15, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)
“I say the gas tax plan is a ‘loser’ because we would lose so much should it be enacted,” said Doherty. “We’d lose the incentive to study our highest-in-the-nation road construction costs. We’d lose business at gas stations and throughout communities along our borders with Pennsylvania and New York. Most important, overtaxed New Jersey drivers would lose more of their hard-earned income to fund projects that have nothing to do with roads.”
Doherty has long-called for a study to examine excessive state transportation costs as the starting point of any transportation funding discussion. He is the sponsor of S-1888, which would create the “State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.”
“It’s inconceivable that we’re not looking for ways to make our transportation spending more efficient,” said Doherty. “How can we ask drivers to pay even a penny more at the pump if we can’t demonstrate that we’re using the money they already send us wisely?”
The Senator highlighted how New Jersey businesses and border communities currently benefit due to our state’s low gas tax relative to that of neighboring states.
“There’s a tremendous amount of commerce that occurs along our side of the Delaware that’ll be put at risk should this massive gas tax increase pass,” said Doherty. “If you take away a big incentive for Pennsylvanians to cross the river, it’ll hurt a host of local businesses that they visit after filling their tanks. This could be disastrous for many New Jersey towns.”
Finally, Doherty noted that while “safe roads and bridges” is the oft-repeated line recited by gas tax proponents, they’re not being honest about how the new gas taxes collected from drivers would actually be spent.
“Nobody is telling the public the truth that the special interests are already lining up with their hands out to fund multi-billion light rail lines in the corners of the state,” added Doherty. “Tell me again how that’ll keep drivers in Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren counties safe. No matter how you look at it, the gas tax plan is a loser for New Jersey.”
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