NJ gas tax went down Friday but don’t be dazzled (Opinion)
New Jersey’s gas tax by law must generate $2 billion a year for the Transportation Trust Fund. It wasn’t always this way.
Under Chris Christie in 2016, the law was changed because an often-raided Transportation fund was depleted. Instead of holding those who did it accountable with malfeasance the Legislature simply raised the gas tax and altered the law.
Now it’s based on consumption. If not enough driving happens to have supplied enough fill ups, thus enough money, the gas tax increases. If it’s more than enough, the tax goes down.
This time it’s going down.
On Friday, New Jersey’s gasoline tax dropped by 8.3 cents per gallon. But keep in mind last October it had gone up by 9.3 cents. What’s that old political question about are you better off today than you were four years ago? In this case just look at one year. And no, you’re not.
But don’t look at the 8.3 cent drop. Look what that brings it to. The gas tax is now 42.4 cents per gallon. You know what it was BEFORE they fixed their own malfeasance with this gas tax hike in 2016? 14 and a half cents per gallon. One of the lowest in the nation. One of the few things New Jersey could be proud of. They made sure to fix that, didn’t they?
So before you start celebrating this wonderful 8 pennies less per gallon, remember you’re still paying 42.4 cents per gallon, which is about a nickel more than when they first screwed you with the 2016 hike.
We went from one of the lowest gas taxes in America to one of the highest. Not everyone voted for it. Then Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli now running for governor sure as hell didn’t. But those who did would love it if you swooned over this 8 cent drop and felt like you were bestowed a gift. In reality, the thief simply dropped one of your cufflinks on the way out of your house.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.