Western New Jersey

New Jersey lawmaker proposes gas tax increase

New Jersey lawmaker proposes gas tax increase

A New Jersey lawmaker is proposing an increase in the state's gas tax to help rebuild and repair roads and bridges.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) offered the plan Monday.

The increase would be five cents a gallon each year over three years.

The proposal includes a "lock-box" provision that guarantees the money would be used only to rebuild and repair highways, bridges, and roads.

"The state's transportation infrastructure is collapsing," said Sen. Lesniak in a news release. "The roads have been neglected for years and the harsh winter left a landscape of potholes that are damaging and dangerous. This has a severe impact on our quality of life and the state's economy. This plan will provide the resources needed to repair, rebuild and maintain the highways, bridges and roadways that are so important in New Jersey."

Paying more is not an appealing idea to most drivers 69 News spoke with in New Jersey Monday.

"No, absolutely not, I think we pay enough taxes as it is in New Jersey. I think they've got to find another way," said one driver.

"If we get to vote on it I'd say no, but if you're going to tell me I have to pay it, this runs on gas, I have no choice," said Steve Olivo of Harmony Township.

"Bad idea, bad idea, we already pay some of the highest taxes in the United States," said Mary Ellen Daggett of Stewartsville. "I think they should do a better job with what they have."

Sen. Lesniak said the increase would bring in about $250 million each year for much-needed infrastructure work and an estimated 40 percent of the new money would come from out-of-state drivers using New Jersey roadways.

"We definitely need a lot of road repairs, a lot of bridge repairs. They're not optional, so yeah, I'd be willing to pay it," said Jeff Murdoch of Stewartsville.

"Just like they're passing on costs, we'd have to pass on costs to our customers. We design custom cabinetry so someone has to help," said Angel Martin of Frenchtown. "I'm just not for it, at least now. I mean we already are paying what seems like now the high gas prices and that's a struggle already."

Sen. Lesniak claims the gas tax increase would have an average cost of less than $100 a year per driver.

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