New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund has racked up almost $15 billion in debt and if a new source of revenue isn't found by next year it will be bankrupt.

John Moore, Getty Images

Thursday, the Assembly Transportation Committee will conduct its third public hearing on funding the TTF. Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Paramus) expects the panel to discuss his newly introduced bill (A-3816).

Under Eustace's measure, a to-be-determined portion of the sales tax people are already paying for the electricity, hydrogen and natural gas they need to power their alternate fuel vehicles would be dedicated to the TTF.

"The idea behind this bill is to take those alternate fuel vehicles and use the system that they pay into to pay back into the TTF," Eustace said. "This is not an additional tax. This is an amount of money that's already being collected so this will be their contribution to the TTF."

Under current law, revenues collected from the gas and diesel fuel taxes are dedicated to the TTF. The legislation would similarly dedicate revenues derived from taxes imposed on alternative fuel vehicles using electricity, natural gas and hydrogen as a power source to the fund. It wouldn't help dramatically in the short-term Esutace said, but it could in the future.

"These vehicles make up less than 4 percent of the entire market. It's a small amount that, as we see people change their habits, will grow. It's a small amount of money, but the amount of vehicles on the street should grow each and every year that are alternate fuel vehicles," Eustace said.

The Assembly Transportation Committee's Thursday hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Camden County College Theater. The panel will take testimony from experts and the public concerning the financing, funding levels and future funding options for the TTF.