New Jersey drivers should prepare to pay more for gas

The state Treasury Department announced this afternoon that the gas tax will increase by 9.3 cents per gallon, as of Oct. 1. The state says it’s got to raise the tax because highway fuel consumption is down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Money from the gas tax helps support the state’s Transportation Trust Fund program.

Restaurant owners could be getting some financial help. The state Legislature has approved a bill to provide $30 million to compensate those owners for expenses they incurred ahead of the planned July 2 reopening for indoor dining. You’ll recall Gov. Phil Murphy reversed course on that, citing the state’s COVID-19 numbers, but the governor said again Friday that the state is getting close to allowing indoor dining.

Summer has been a hot selling season for real estate in New Jersey. Pending home sales jumped a whopping 44.5% in July compared to last year, according to NJ Realtors. At the same time, there are far fewer homes on the market, and that’s pushing up prices. Year-to-date, the median sales price for New Jersey homes is $325,000 which is up more than 8% over 2019. One help for buyers, mortgage rates have fallen.