A bill paving the way for exploring avenues of capitalizing on the state’s major highways to generate new state revenue without raising taxes received approval from the full Assembly on today.

New Jersey Turnpike (Mario Tama, Getty Images)

The measure would direct the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) to study and prepare a report concerning potential opportunities for increasing current and generating new authority revenue by providing additional services, including, but not limited to, business, commercial, or retail services, at rest areas and service plazas along the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

“It’s incumbent upon us to seek creative ways to boost revenue without burdening taxpayers,” says co-sponsor, Assemblyman Craig Coughlin. “Our current transportation infrastructure demands that we think outside the box to find new revenue sources to help meet our long-term needs.”

The NJTA report would identify the types of services that may be offered, the types of businesses that may be involved, how the services may be managed, and the role of the authority in offering these new services.

Bill co-sponsor and chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, John Wisniewski says, “Finding new revenue sources without raising taxes is crucial, particularly in an economy like this. When you factor in the administration’s decision to divert toll revenue to pay for the Transportation Trust Fund, it becomes even more critical that we think explore every avenue to find alternative revenue sources to help fund our crucial transportation needs.”

The bill was approved 75-0-0 and now, heads to the Senate for further consideration.