Murphy silent as lawmakers move to suspend NJ gas tax
Efforts to give New Jersey residents some type of 'gas tax holiday' are intensifying in Trenton.
Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) is proposing a rollback of the current state gas tax to 2016 levels for 60-days.
That would take the tax from 42.4 cents to 14.5 cents, saving nearly 28 cents per gallon.
Turner noted that driving is a necessity for most New Jerseyans, and avoiding the higher costs associated with the rise in gas prices is nearly impossible.
"The high cost of gas is impacting our residents who are now spending a larger amount of their household budget to pay for gas," Turner said in a statement, "and are left with less for food and other expense."
Both Republicans and Democrats in the legislature have been bringing forward ideas for blunting the effects of record high gas prices.
A bill by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester) would reduce the state gas tax by 50%, but only if the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular in the Garden State reaches $4.51, during the months of June, July and August.
Unlike Moriarty's bill, Turner's proposal is not dependent on gas prices still rising.
Sen. Edward Durr (R-Gloucester) has proposed a a $500 tax credit to families earning under $250,000 and $250 to single or individual filers earning less than $125,000. Nine other Republican legislators have co-sponsored the bill.
However, none of these proposals appear to have the support of Gov. Phil Murphy.
Murphy has said he supports a rollback of the federal gas tax, but not the state tax.
He described the spike in gas prices as "a little pain," and suggested we would all have to "swallow hard and take it," if it means defeating Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war with Ukraine.
If any of the proposals for a gas tax holiday or tax credits were to pass the legislature, Murphy would have to agree to sign it into law, which he does not seem inclined to do.
Gas prices have been falling, though not as rapidly as they went up (here's why.)
AAA says the average price for regular in New Jersey has dropped another three cents per gallon since Wednesday, and is now below $4.30 per gallon. That is still 65-cents more than a month ago. A year ago, gas was below $3 per gallon in New Jersey.
Oil prices have continued to fall, and analyst Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy.com says if that trend continues, we could see a drop of up to 55-cents per gallon over the next five weeks.