State Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox said what everyone knows to be true last week when discussing the quickly depleting Transportation Trust Fund:
He means a tax. Such as an increase in the gas tax.
At 10.5 cents per gallon, New Jersey has the second-lowest gas tax in the country. Raising it, however, is considered political suicide.
“I do not favor and will not sign any increase for a gas tax,” Gov. Chris Christie has said.
An unofficial NJBIZ study showed Jerseyans already pay an additional gas tax depending on one simple factor: where they buy it.
On Oct. 21, we visited a dozen gas stations within a 10-mile radius of our offices in Somerset. What we found was stunning.
Gas prices in our survey varied by 40 cents per gallon, going for as low as $2.65 and as high as $3.05, with plenty of options in between. And all the stations we visited had customers.
If consumers don’t mind these wide ranges of prices, what’s a few more cents on every gallon?
The answer may surprise you again. For every cent the gas tax is raised, it’s estimated the state raises an additional $50 million (plenty of it coming from out-of-state drivers).
And while everyone agrees an additional gas tax alone cannot replenish the fund, every $50 million counts.
Especially for a product drivers don’t seem to mind paying extra for already.
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On Twitter: @andrewsnjbiz