New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
signed a major new project funding package into law and issued an executive order allowing hundreds of highway and transit projects to go forward that had been stalled since July by a budget impasse.
The budget package will boost the state's per-gallon gasoline excise tax by
23 cents a gallon on Nov. 1 to replenish the ailing Transportation Trust Fund, an increase that still leaves its gas tax lower than neighboring states.
Truckers will see a
two-step, 27-cent increase of the diesel fuel excise tax on Jan. 1 and next July.
When the higher fuel taxes are completely in place, New Jersey motorists will have a 37.5-cent fee on a gallon of gasoline and 44.5 cents on diesel. Those compare with the current gas tax of 14.5 cents and 17.5 cents for diesel.
In all, Christie said the eight-year funding measure will put
$2 billion a year more into the trust fund, or $16 billion in all. And when paired with federal funds he said it will generate $32 billion in infrastructure improvements and modernizations.
To offset the impact on residents, the package included cuts in the state sales tax, a phased elimination of the estate tax and tax breaks for pensioners, the working poor and military veterans.
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