Christie: Gas tax hike should be paired with cuts
WHIPPANY, N.J. (AP) -- Republicans should not support any legislation raising the state's gasoline tax unless other taxes are cut, Gov. Chris Christie said Monday.
Christie's comments to the New Jersey Commerce and Industry Association in Morris County come as he seeks the Republican Party nomination for president and as the state's transportation trust fund faces insolvency with no clear solution.
Christie said he was putting Democrats, who control the Legislature, on notice of his condition for supporting an increase in the state's 14.5-cent motor fuels tax.
"I will consider any option that's presented to me as long as those options include tax fairness for the people of New Jersey. Tax fairness for the people of New Jersey," he said.
Christie did not say which taxes should be cut but mentioned the state's estate and inheritance taxes. New Jersey and Maryland are the only two states with both estate and inheritance taxes. New Jersey also has the lowest threshold for an estate tax, at $675,000. The state's inheritance tax tops out at 16 percent.
"It's not that I can't afford to live here," Christie said citizens tell him. "I can't afford to die here."
Christie has said all options are on the table when it comes to the fund that pays for road and bridge projects. But he has also pledged not to sign legislation raising taxes.
Lawmakers and a coalition of business and labor groups made a serious push to solve the trust fund problem last year, but the effort has slowed since Christie signed a budget in June that authorized bonding to cover the fund through June 2016.
State transportation commissioner Jamie Fox has said the fund will "hit a wall" after June 2016, and the state will be unable to spend any additional money.
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