Even before Wednesday's fatal New Jersey Transit crash in Hoboken, the New Jersey Transit authority was seen as underfunded and leaderless. Incidentally, New Jersey's state infrastructure fund was supported by the state's gas tax, which hadn't been raised since 1988. The fund ran out of money this summer, and after a stalemate over whether or not to raise the state gas tax, Governor Chris Christie and Democratic leaders finally announced a compromise that will increase the tax and fund the state's Transportation Trust Fund.
The deal on the gas tax was announced yesterday afternoon, just two days after the train crash that left one person dead and more than 100 people injured. The tax will increase by 23 cents and will kick in sometime in early October. With the hike, taxes on gas in New Jersey will rise to 37.5 cents per gallon, which is still lower than the gas tax in New York (42.64 cents per gallon) and Pennsylvania (50.4 cents per gallon), a fact NJ State Senate president Stephen Sweeney was sure to mention to NJ.com. The good news is, this means you can still stop in New Jersey to fill up your tank on the way back from a road trip in order to save a few bucks.
The gas tax increase will fund the state's Transportation Trust Fund with either $16 billion or $32 billion over eight years. Since he's still a Republican and a Trump surrogate, though, Governor Christie promised the gas tax hike will be the only tax hike he'll authorize. The increase also came with a series of tax cuts, including the elimination of the state estate tax a decrease in the state sales tax.