New Jersey Senate committee advances another fuel tax measure

Updated Aug 6, 2016

New Jersey capitolIn the next step of the ongoing fuel tax battle waging between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and state lawmakers, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee introduced S. 2470 calling for dramatic increases in taxes for both the gas and diesel, offset by income and estate tax breaks.

The bill would increase the gas tax by 23 cents to 37.5 cents per gallon and the diesel tax would shoot to 44.5 cents per gallon from 17.5 cents per gallon. The increased revenue would fund the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).

Christie shut down projects funded by the TTF back on July 8, and already denied similar legislation calling for the same fuel tax increase. Of that measure, the governor said the “massive gas tax hike . . . does not represent tax fairness to the residents of New Jersey.”

The main difference in the new plan is pulling state income tax for a portion of retired individuals, ending the estate tax and increasing the earned income tax credit among other specialized tax breaks. Previous plans have called for a reduction in state tax levels.

The state’s full Senate could vote on the legislation this week.