Tolls are going up AGAIN in New Jersey — How’s your commute now? (Opinion)
In case you haven't heard, tolls are going up again in the Garden State on Jan. 1. The government will tell you it's ONLY 3%, but they don't seem to care that the cost of living and working in New Jersey goes up every year.
What are we even paying for? Do the bureaucrats and elites who run this state and make these decisions even understand that every increase like this either causes prices to rise on consumers or drives more people to rethink their long-term plans to stay in the Garden State. 3% may not be much to a Goldman Sachs millionaire, but it's a lot for the teacher making $60,000 a year driving an hour each way on the Parkway every day. It's a lot for the independent trucker traveling the length of the Turnpike on a daily basis. And the worst part is that there is no accountability to how the money is spent.
I am a firm believer that we need to focus on our aging infrastructure both transportation and energy. We need a governor who understands that people deserve better than to see their tax and toll dollars squandered on lavish perks and salaries for government bureaucrats. If we streamlined government, we could lower taxes and fees AND invest in what we need. The challenge is breaking the cycle of corruption.
So many insiders hold positions and owe wealthy back-room bosses their careers. We can break the cycle by building on the tremendous success we saw this past election day with hundreds of first-time candidates running to enact change in their communities. From Edward Durr defeating the most powerful legislator in Trenton to the addition of six GOPers to the minority party, progress was made for sure.
We will continue to fight for common-sense candidates who are not beholden to special interests or party bosses. When the gas tax was pushed by the GOP establishment and Governor Christie, I geared up for the fight. You can hear my exchange with the governor on-air HERE.
Many of my current friends and allies were mad that I opposed the gas tax thinking that the trade businesses would see a huge increase in revenue for the jobs of rebuilding our infrastructure. We have learned since that in classic government fashion, practical projects are last on the list. Seems the government needs the money to keep up with the over-paid bureaucrats and lucrative government perks.
So we're back where we started and they're at it again with the most recent toll hike. This is a vicious cycle that some have called the "corruption tax." Until we elect a new majority in the legislature and change our county and town government with the capstone of a middle-class governor not beholder to corrupt insider elites, the cycle will continue driving more and more good people and businesses out of New Jersey.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.