Tell Senator Oroho our answer is simple. #NOGASTAX
Spent the better part of the week on the air hoping to shed some light on the outrageous attempt of several legislators in Trenton to raise the gas tax in New Jersey $0.23 per gallon. Currently the tax stands at $0.145 per gallon so the increase will put the total government take at close to forty cents on every gallon of gas.
The proponents will tell you that the roads and bridges in the Garden State are falling apart and it’s only a matter of time before we have a Minnesota-style collapse here.
First of all the government already collects more than $500 million in gas tax revenue each year. The problem is that the revenue is not dedicated toward infrastructure and road improvements and it’s been essentially dropping for the past ten years. Fuel efficient cars, millennials moving closer to work in urban areas both contributing to a drop.
The latest proposal counts on more than on billion in gas tax revenue which will be paid by both in state drivers and out of staters. Here’s a question, how do the politicians proposing the plan count on a steady revenue stream given the historical facts of a steady decline in the revenue?
Next question, if the gas tax is not mandated to fix the looming “Minnesota Problem” how can commuters be sure that any of their hard earned money will be used to fix the identified problem?
Of course the other obvious problem is that there are multiple competing studies about road construction in New Jersey. One report from the Reason Foundation put the number at 2 million dollars per mile. Another report from Rutgers put the number at less than $200,000 per mile. Yet when speaking to Assemblyman Erik Peterson the other day on the show he said the Freeholders in Hunterdon County claim the cost for their roads are approximately one million dollars per mile. And that includes the use of lower cost county workers doing the work instead of hiring union contractors at the prevailing wage. Then there was the former DOT commissioner Jamie Fox who discredited the Reason Foundation number but admitted that NJ was more expensive than other states. Of course the coup de grace on the entire discussion of road costs is the $27 million per mile spent on the reconstruction of Route 35 in Monmouth County.
So the range of road construction costs in Jersey is somewhere between $183,000 and $27,300,000. Are the politicians serious about asking you to pay more at the pump based on a complete and utter ignorance when it comes to how much money they will actually spend? Are the politicians so arrogant that they will dismiss your claim of feeling the pinch of ever increasing costs in NJ?
In the case of many the answer is yes. Republican Senator Steve Oroho will tell you that in order to lower other taxes you need to pay more in gas taxes. He has no clue what road construction costs will actually be and no plan to dedicate money for those projects in the first place. Actually when I asked him that very question on my radio show he said that it would be up to the voters to vote yes on a future ballot question.
So no dedication to road repair, a historically declining revenue stream, and zero accountability on the actual cost and spending. But don’t worry, the politicians have you covered, don’t ask questions, don’t look behind the curtain, just get ready to pay a tax on filling up your car that represents a 250% increase over the current tax.
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this issue, many agreeing that the tax is a very bad idea and some wondering why I’ve spent most of the time calling out the Republicans instead of the Democrats who have a history of raising taxes. Simple. Democrats in NJ don’t hide from raising taxes. The campaign openly on it! Republicans on the other hand campaign against taxes and wrap themselves in the flag of fiscal conservatism. Maybe Senator Oroho thought we wouldn’t notice. Maybe he thought we were stupid. Either way, arrogance or ignorance he’s wrong and needs to hear it from you. Call him at the office (973) 300-0200 and let him know that we’re going to pay a tax that hurts commuters, small businesses and working families.