I, like many others, searched to see if there was a reasonable way to fund our necessary infrastructure construction without an increase in the gas tax. It has been flat for the last 26 years, even as inflation and population increases have eaten away at the value of the tax revenue collected…Our gas tax revenue today goes about half as far as it did in 1990, despite the fact that there are about 1.3 million more people living in the state today.
People always say we need to run the government like we run our household, on a strict budget. That is exactly what this gas tax increase is all about. For the last 25 years, the state has done the equivalent of paying for its annual maintenance costs with credit cards and loans. The debt is now too high. We need to either raise the amount of money coming in or effectively abandon our transportation infrastructure.
Sal Risalvato, Executive Director of The New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, Automotive Association (NJGCA)
Part of being fiscally responsible includes knowing when you need to stop relying upon debt and increase revenue. That’s where we are with the Transportation Trust Fund. While we support competitive bidding among qualified contractors and improved efficiency in the management of the state’s infrastructure, all the trimming and shaving and consolidation in the world is not going to make up for 25 years of fiscal irresponsibility. This is a tough pill to swallow, but the alternatives (more debt financing or letting our infrastructure collapse) are much, much worse.