(ATLANTIC CITY) — Assembly Transportation Chairman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) issued the following statement at the conclusion of the last of four hearings his committee has held throughout the state to find solutions to replenish New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund to address the state’s pressing infrastructure needs:
“One of the messages from local public officials this morning is how our current system places the burden of funding local roadwork on property taxes and the state’s homeowners, and does not meet our local infrastructure needs. These roads carry more than half the state’s traffic. This is another example the committee has heard of the inefficient way New Jersey has funded the state’s transportation infrastructure in recent years.
“Given our overreliance on debt and the unfairness of handing the bill for our present work to future generations, we have heard a broad-based consensus that the state needs to find a new ‘revenue source.’ It’s now time to face the fact that New Jersey needs to increase its gas tax.
“I understand the need to be efficient, which is why I’ve also proposed that we consider consolidation of our transportation agencies. I also believe we need constitutional guarantees so that the public is confident that the money will only be spent on transportation.
“This is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult issues we, as legislators, freeholders, mayors and council members will confront. As we continue pursuing a solution, we need to make sure that it’s fair, proportional and efficient so that the state’s transportation infrastructure needs are met and the public is confident we are spending the money wisely.”