Legislation signed into law by the governor to increase the gas tax by 23 cents a gallon, starting next week, contains some additional tax increases that haven’t gotten a lot of attention – until now.

New Jersey Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Cream Ridge, is expressing shock and outrage over an accompanying tax hike on diesel fuel he says  will dramatically increase prices across the board for all consumers.

The diesel fuel tax increase will actually come in two waves.

“Right now the diesel fuel for truckers is 17 and a half cents. On Jan. 1, Happy New Year, the tax doubles,” he said.

Next summer, it goes up even more.

“On July 1 there will be another increase in the diesel fuel tax,” Dancer said. “The (tax) will be for the diesel fuel at that time, 46 and a half cents a gallon, compared to the 17 and a half cents that it is right now.”

So what will the effect of all this be?

“The trucking industry is going to pass on that cost to every consumer that purchases goods in the state of New Jersey,” Dancer said. “Every product you purchase, at one point in time, is on a truck and every product therefore will significantly have a price increase.”

Dancer said he and others didn't realize how significant this was going to be until recently.

“Until we looked at the bill closely, I was not aware initially — everybody thought this was a 23 cent gas tax,” he said. “This is as large of a tax increase as we’ve ever had in the state of New Jersey. It affects everything. Nothing is excluded.”

Dancer said included in the legislation signed by the governor is “also a petroleum products tax — it means everything that has petroleum products in the manufacturing of any product has a 12 and a half percent increase.”

He said that would affect the price of all sorts of everyday items including “baby lotion, baby oil, shoe polish, cold cream ... Chapstick. The list goes on and on and on.”

“We received a three-page list form the Department of the Treasury of all the products that are petroleum based that will see this 12 and a half percent petroleum products tax go into effect,” he said.

He added: “I think the taxpayers have hit bottom, I mean I just don’t know where the taxing is going to stop.”

In order to replenish New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund, Christie and legislative leaders hammered out a deal last month to increase the gas tax by 23 cents a gallon.

To counter the increase, the state’s 7 percent sales tax will be trimmed slightly over two years, the estate tax will be abolished, retirees and veterans will get a tax break and the state’s earned income tax credit will be increased.

Gov. Christie has stated he only agreed to the tax increase because the plan included other “tax fairness” elements.

Gail Toth, the executive director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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