Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Devote all Gas & Diesel Taxes to TTF
(TRENTON) – Legislation New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto sponsored to ask voters to ensure all revenue from the state’s gas taxes permanently goes toward improving New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) has long been a proponent of replenishing New Jersey’s depleted Transportation Trust Fund used to repair and maintain roads and bridges. The fund is set to go broke on July 1.
“Unfortunately no agreement has been reached, but it’s important that voters be given the chance to dedicate all money raised by these taxes to transportation needs,” Prieto said. “Taxpayers must be confident every cent raised by these taxes goes to the right purpose – rebuilding and maintaining our roads and bridges. This is something we can all agree upon.”
The proposed constitutional amendment (ACR-1) ensures all the revenue from the gas taxes goes to the Transportation Trust Fund.
It would not raise the current fuel taxes.
New Jersey imposes a 10.5 cents per gallon tax on the sale of gasoline and a 13.5 cents per gallon tax on diesel fuel.
The full amount of the gasoline tax is already dedicated to transportation, while 10.5 cents of the diesel tax also goes to the transportation fund.
Speaker Prieto’s proposed amendment would include the 3 cents of the diesel tax that is not currently dedicated.
Thus, if voters approve, all money raised by taxes paid while purchasing fuel will be constitutionally dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund, no matter their rates.
If the taxes are increased in the future, the amendment dedicates the increased revenues that would result from the tax increase to the trust fund.
The proposal would also dedicate all of the revenue from the tax on gross receipts of the sale of petroleum products to the Transportation Trust Fund.
“New Jersey drivers want to know every cent they pay in taxes at the pump is being used appropriately,” Prieto said. “This gives them that assurance, and strengthens any future effort to ensure we have enough transportation funding to keep our state strong.”
Prieto said discussions to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund remain ongoing, but said the ballot question, on its own, is a must, no matter the solution.
“New Jersey needs a modern and safe transportation network for its economic survival, but years of foolish borrowing leave our state teetering on the brink of an economic disaster,” Prieto said. “The future of our state requires a solution. The economic well-being of our state demands it. This ballot question is a common sense first step.”
As a proposed constitutional amendment, the bill must now sit on the desks of lawmakers for 20 days before being considered by the full Assembly. It must also receive a public hearing.