The bipartisan proposal to raise the gas tax by 23 cents a gallon to refuel the flagging Transportation Trust Fund may have gotten most of the attention, but it’s not the only plan out there. State Sen. Jennifer Beck also has a scheme to put New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure on solid — and solvent — ground, and she claims that it can get the job done without boosting motor-fuel taxes.
She argues instead for consolidating agencies, cutting public-employee health benefits, and raising fines for distracted driving.
“To raise a billion dollars in new taxes on 7 million licensed New Jersey drivers is unconscionable,” she says, “it’s the most regressive form of taxation we have. Many people must drive to work. They have no other option.”
Her plan also depends on 3 percent annual revenue increases for the state, which some critics say are far too optimistic, given that revenue growth has come in at about 1 percent over the past 10 years.
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