Democrats duck transportation funding issueHow should the ailing Transportation Trust Fund be funded?
The Democrats declined to answer.
Since 2002, the stateÂs ability to pay for repairs and safety improvements to highways, bridges and public transit has been jeopardized by bad policy and the resulting financial constraints. Hundreds of millions of dollars in motor vehicle fees and taxes have been diverted from the Transportation Trust Fund to the General Fund to balance an ever-expanding state budget. As a result, 85 percent of the transportation program is funded today with unsustainable borrowing.
To curb this practice, I have joined in sponsoring legislation that would amend the New Jersey Constitution to redirect motor vehicle fees to the Transportation Trust Fund. This would ensure revenues that should go to the fund actually go there. This permanent dedication, in conjunction with existing dedicated revenues, would be enough to provide for an annual $1.9 billion transportation program through at least 2014. This is the sensible alternative to raising the gasoline tax and tolls, as the governor and others have suggested.
Andrew R. Ciesla (R-Brick)
Political Exchange is a weekly feature in which a Democrat and a Republican answer a question related to a New Jersey business issue. The writers did not see the other partyÂs response in advance. Have a reaction to what you read? Want to suggest a question? Contact us at [email protected].