The upside to New Jersey not having raised the tax on gasoline since 1989 is that the state has the lowest prices at the pump in the Northeast.
The downside: It’s almost impossible to raise money to make necessary repairs on roads and bridges or to buy new rail cars. In fact, New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is virtually running empty and will be completely out of gas in 2015.
The “simple” solution: raise the gasoline tax.
But Gov. Chris Christie isn’t likely to do that for two reasons. First, he’s promised New Jersey voters, who are already burdened by some of the highest taxes in the country, that he won’t raise taxes on his watch. Second, with a presidential run likely, raising taxes is not going to endear him to Republican primary voters, who are known to be very conservative.
by Emma Jacobs, of WNYC/NJPR, an NJ Spotlight content partner.