(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) issued a multimedia package Monday following the General Assembly’s approval of an amended legislative package that would restore funding to New Jersey’s beleaguered Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and reduce the state’s regressive sales tax.
The TTF, once regarded as a national model for transportation finance, runs out of money on July 1. The amended legislative package, sponsored by Speaker Prieto, sets out an eight-year, $16 billion capital transportation program for the state’s highway and rail infrastructure (A-10) and secures dedicated funding for the plan while reducing the state’s sales tax to six percent by 2018 (A-12).
The multimedia package consists of Speaker Prieto discussing the new plan for reauthorizing funding for the TTF and reducing the state’s sales tax and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A copy of the amended bills can be found here:
A-10 (passed Assembly XX to XX)
A-12 (passed Assembly XX to XX)
A transcript of comments from Speaker Prieto is appended below:
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson):
“We’ve negotiated a new bill for our Transportation Trust Fund.
“The bill that we had, we were having difficulties getting support for it as a bipartisan bill. The governor wouldn’t sign it.
“And this bill that we have today is a much better bill.
“In talking with the governor, this is a bill that he would sign.
“This is a bill that actually takes care of our transportation infrastructure needs by fully funding it for eight years; $2 billion fund every year for eight years. And actually, we would be able to fund our Transportation Trust Fund with new revenue, something that we have not done since 1988. So, this is historical.
“And this plan, it actually is a two-pronged approach. We’re reducing a regressive tax — the sales tax — over a two year period at half a percent going then down to six-and-a-half and then to six percent.
“This will mean that we will put money into the hands of the people that need it the most, so they’ll be able to have an economic impact a lot quicker than the bill that we were trying to do before. And then we will actually be funding our Transportation Trust Fund that will be able to invest on our road infrastructure to be able to put people back to work and spur our economy by them being able to have more buying power.
“So, this will be a bill that helps everybody across the board and really, it’ll be a win-win for all the residents of the State of New Jersey.”