(Opinion) After devoting more than a century of planning and engineering effort to the movement and storage of cars above all other considerations, U.S. cities have suddenly, temporarily shifted priorities.
A day after a fatal NJ Transit train crash at the Hoboken Terminal, Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic leaders of the legislature announced the agreement to raise the tax by 159 percent; the first increase to the *14.5-cent tax since 1990.
However, neither state will ask voters to increase the gas tax. Instead, they ask voters to assure that gas tax and other transportation-derived revenues are spent on transportation. Neither state has raised the tax in over 25 years.
New Jersey's 14.5-cent state gas tax, second lowest after Alaska's, may increase 23 cents thanks to a deal worked out between Assembly Democratic and Republican leaders and Gov. Chris Christie that reduces the sales tax. It now goes to the Senate.
Rather than supporting an increase in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees like many states are doing to fund transportation spending, Gov. Chris Christie asks the legislature to find funds by making cuts within the general fund.
The estate tax reduction, plus increasing the retirement income tax exemption, would be traded for an unspecified hike in the gas tax to keep the Transportation Trust Fund solvent. But the $400 million in tax cuts won't satisfy Gov. Chris Christie.