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Legislative Updates

Transportation Trust Fund Renewal Awaits Governor’s Approval

On Monday, March 18 both Houses of the Legislature sent the Transportation Trust Fund reauthorization legislation, A-4011 (Calabrese/Wimberly)/S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari) to the Governor’s desk for action. Below please find Christina M. Renna, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) statement on the measure:

It is with disappointment that the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey must oppose A-4011 (Calabrese/Wimberly)/S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari), which would renew the Transportation Trust Fund for a five-year period. 


The Chamber wholeheartedly believes that infrastructure of any kind is the backbone of the economy. Not only does it allow for the upkeep, safety and repair of the state’s roads, bridges and rail lines but 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.


For all of these reasons, the Chamber was hopeful that policymakers would identify a funding source outside of the gas tax to fund the state’s transportation projects. However, A-4011 (Calabrese/Wimberly)/S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari) unfortunately followed in the footsteps of the 2016 TTF renewal by proposing an increase to the state’s already high gas tax. 


In the current legislation, the gas tax will increase every year over the renewal’s five-year period at a rate to be determined by the State Treasurer. The South Jersey Chamber promptly surveyed our membership once the details of A-4011 (Calabrese/Wimberly)/S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari) went live and the results were overwhelming:

80.5 percent of respondents are against raising the gas tax. This is largely because…

The majority of respondents drive 20+ miles to work daily.

Additionally, the majority of respondents currently spend upwards of $125 per week per household, or $500 per month/$6,500 annually on gas – and this is before the gas tax increase proposed in the current renewal.


Additionally, there were two topics consistently mentioned. 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 annual fee, to make up for the years they were not contributing to the Fund. 


Importantly, the Chamber membership felt strongly that should policymakers identify a method to renewing the TTF without increasing the gas tax, there would be far less opposition to the measure. Several members noted the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have or will funnel millions of dollars to the state and questioned why these monies were not being used to stave off a gas tax increase.


Given the South Jersey Chamber’s member feedback and commitment to making New Jersey a more affordable place to live and work, we must oppose A-4011 (Calabrese/Wimberly)/S-2931 (Sarlo/Scutari). The Chamber urges legislators to explore a funding mechanism that would not increase the already high gas tax in New Jersey, which disproportionally impacts those areas of the state with limited public transportation options. Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on the Transportation Trust Fund renewal.

The final vote in the Assembly was 48-27 with all South Jersey Republicans voting against the measure, as well as Assembly Democrats from the Third, Fourth and Eighth Legislative Distracts (Asms. Bailey, Miller and Hutchinson and Asws. Simmons and Katz). The final vote in the Senate was 24-14 with all South Jersey Republicans, except Senator Vince Polistina, voting against the measure. Senate Democrats from the Third, Fourth and Sixth Legislative Districts (Sens. Burzichelli, Moriarty and Beach) also voted “no”.


Governor Murphy has 45 days to sign or veto the bill.

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

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