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Legislative Updates

Transportation Trust Fund Renewal Advances

On Monday, March 11 the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee considered S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari), which would renew the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority Act for a five-year period and increase the gas tax.


The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) opposed this legislation based on the member feedback provided in our recent survey. Survey results showed that:

  • 80.5 percent of respondents are against raising the gas tax.
  • The majority of respondents drive 20+ miles to work daily.
  • The majority of respondents currently spend upwards of $125 per week, per household or $500 per month/$6,500 annually on gas.


This information helped frame the CCSNJ’s position and led us to oppose S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari), while wholeheartedly believing that investment in infrastructure of any kind is the backbone of the economy. Not only does the TTF allow for the upkeep, safety and repair of the state’s roads, bridges and rail lines but it also creates thousands of critical union and non-union jobs for New Jerseyans. In the case of the TTF, it also provides significant funding for the counties and municipalities, something that cannot be understated in its importance to the overall affordability of the state.


But the strong desire and need for transportation infrastructure projects does not take away from the fact that a gas tax increase disproportionately impacts the residents and businesses located in the southern portion of New Jersey. South Jersey has no choice but to be reliant on motor vehicles due to its significant lack of public transportation options. As a result, South Jersey residents drive more than others and fill up their tanks more often, which undeniably increases their cost of living. And although media reports state that the gas tax will only be raised 1.9 cents per year of the five-year renewal, the legislation actually states that the gas tax rate will be decided by the State Treasurer each year – meaning that the gas tax rate can be much higher than currently being reported.


Additionally, the survey results consistently mentioned two topics. First, respondents noted that they do not see a return on investment for the amount of money they currently pay in the gas tax by way of new projects and upgraded transportation infrastructure in South Jersey. Secondly, nearly all agreed that it is intrinsically unfair that electric vehicle owners have not been paying into the TTF for the past five-year and that this must be corrected, and at a higher level than the proposed $250-$290 annual fee, to make up for the years they were not contributing to the Fund. These sentiments were expressed to Committee members during the CCSNJ’s remarks.


Despite the CCSNJ’s opposition, S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari) passed the Committee by a vote of 9-4 along party lines. Last Thursday, March 7 the Assembly counterpart, A-4011 (Calabrese) passed the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee by a vote of 7-4 and was second referenced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This legislation is being fast-tracked for approval and legislative leadership hopes to move it to the Governor’s desk for action before the end of the month.


The CCSNJ will continue to keep you updated on this issue as it progresses. Special thanks to Katz Government Affairs LLC. for representing the CCSNJ at this hearing.


To read the CCSNJ’s full testimony, click here.

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For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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