Christie, on NJ 101.5, remains coy on transportation funding
Gov. Chris Christie, appearing on Townsquare New Jersey's "Ask the Governor" program Thursday night, said "everything's on the table for discussion" in the ongoing search for ways to fund needed improvements in the state's aging transportation infrastructure.
Christie, a Republican, did not endorse or dismiss the possibility that a gasoline tax increase could be part of the solution, as suggested by State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both Democrats.
"We'll sit down and talk with the Senate president, the Speaker and the Republican legislative leaders and see what we can agree upon in order to make funding our road and bridge upkeep and repair appropriate-- an appropriate level," Christie said, "and also make sure that we deal with issues of taxation in this state in a way that's fair to the people who are paying the bills."
On Tuesday, a coalition of business, transportation, labor and consumer advocates announced an initiative to address the state's soon-to-be bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which provides money for various road and bridge projects. The group is stressing the need for a constitutionally dedicated, recurring revenue stream.
The group's chairman, Tom Bracken, said it is not advocating "any single funding source" but will encourage discussion and consideration of several options, including:
- increasing the gas tax
- dedicating online gambling revenue
- raising car rental fees
- fully dedicating surplus funds for the Motor Vehicle Commission.
A report released by the group has been posted at www.forwardnewjersey.com.
Prieto (D-Secaucus) said legislators would "review this report thoroughly and consider its findings."
Kevin McArdle contributed to this report.