SECAUCUS — One of the Republican gubernatorial candidates wants to restructure the income tax agreement between the state and New York to help pay for rail improvements.

Jack Ciattarelli, an Assemblyman representing Somerset and Mercer counties, said Wednesday he would negotiate with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, to have New Jersey commuters pay income tax on wages where they live and not where they work. The extra money would go to replace and repair aging infrastructure.

Rail commuters have endured two derailments recently at New York's Penn Station, the nation's busiest train station, and numerous other delays. Meanwhile, Republican President Donald Trump's proposed budget has cast doubt on federal funding for a large-scale transit project, dubbed Gateway, which would build a new rail tunnel between the states.

Ciattarelli said he would work closely with New Jersey's Congressional delegation to make sure the project is included in Trump's proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

His plan also advocated combining NJ Transit and the state's transportation and motor vehicle departments under one roof to streamline operations and prioritizing rail repairs over roads and bridges, at least in the short term.

"Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents depend on NJ Transit every day to arrive at their job or appointment on time, and to return on schedule and safely home at night," Ciattarelli said in a statement. "Right now, they have every right to be angry about paying for a service that is completely unreliable and potentially dangerous."

Ciattarelli is one of five Republican candidates seeking to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who is term-limited after serving two terms. Six Democrats are vying for their party's nomination.


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