NJ gas tax increase hits drivers at worst time

The tax hike closely follows an increase in Garden State Parkway and turnpike tolls

The gas tax on both regular and diesel fuel went up 9.3 cents a gallon in New Jersey on Thursday. In a matter of just four years, New Jersey has gone from being among states with the lowest gas taxes in the nation to among the highest.

Just five years ago, the Garden State’s gas tax was 14.4 cents a gallon. In 2016, it jumped to 37.1 cents, the result of a political deal to to fund road and bridge work. The one bright spot for motorists is that gas prices in the state have decreased by almost 40 cents a gallon this year. And, said Robert Sinclair Jr. of AAA Northeast, “Analysts say that’s probably going to be the case until probably midway through next year.”

Nevertheless, the gas tax increase stings a bit more amid record unemployment and tough times caused by the coronavirus pandemic — in addition to other high taxes in New Jersey. Senior Correspondent Brenda Flanagan reports.