The majority of New Jersey residents remain opposed to the idea of increasing the state’s gas tax, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Thursday.The poll found that 56 percent of respondents are against any proposed hike in the gas tax, echoing a similar sentiment expressed in a related poll 18 months ago. Just 42 percent of residents said they support one.
An increase in the state’s gas tax, which has been unchanged since 1988 and is the second-lowest in the country, has been proposed as a likely solution to help replenish the state’s depleted Transportation Trust Fund.
Though still opposed to an increase in the first place, 54 percent of residents said they would support dedicating all tax revenue generated by a gas tax hike to the TTF.
“New Jerseyans have not budged in their opposition to a gas tax hike, no surprise given how unpopular the proposal has been since we first asked about it in the 1980s,” said Ashley Koning, poll assistant director. “While there is less opposition than decades ago, residents nevertheless do not want to pay more at the pump.”
While some legislators have proposed doing away with New Jersey’s estate and inheritance taxes as a concession for raising the gas tax, just 37 percent of respondents said estate tax reform would make them more likely to support a gas tax increase. Another 49 percent said they’d be less likely to support one under those circumstances.
A bipartisan bill to gradually phase out the estate tax is currently being considered by the Legislature.