Fixing NJ’s Roads: Is a Gas Tax Hike the Answer? [AUDIO]
It's no secret that Gov. Chris Christie is no fan of tax increases. During his first gubernatorial campaign in 2009 he said he would not hike taxes and he has consistently repeated that pledge including in his recent state budget address. That's not stopping the top lawmaker in the Assembly from talking about a tax increase to help the chronically cash-strapped state.
"I've been putting some ideas out there to see how we can get revenue streams," said Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-Secaucus). "One of them that I've been talking about is the gas tax. New Jersey's road infrastructure is decaying."
Bridges in New Jersey are also in need of repair or replacement and that requires a lot of money Prieto said. He explained that according to a study he read recently, increasing the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon would mean a driver who travels 1,000 miles a month would be paying an extra $5.
"People need to be educated that that then makes their commute, their lives better," Prieto said. "Those types of discussions are what we need to start having."
The state also needs to find a way to deliver more aid to municipalities, according to Prieto. He said if towns can't pay the bills public safety could be at risk if they lay off police and firefighters which is unacceptable.
"We have to be able to fund all the good things that our residents need and want," Prieto insisted.