TRENTON, NJ - On behalf of New Jersey’s overburdened taxpayers, Senate Republicans Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Michael Doherty (R-23) held a State House press conference today and presented transportation and pension system alternatives to Democrats’ gas tax and income tax hike proposals.
“By tightening our belts during a long-term fiscal plan, we can finally give sorely needed relief, predictability and good news to overburdened New Jersey families, employers and prospective job creators,” Beck said. “After months of research with New Jersey’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, it is clear that state government can implement a seven-year financial plan that annually funds a $1.6 billion Transportation Trust Fund program with no Democrat gas tax hike, and annually funds the state’s growing public pension system obligation without Democrat income or sales tax hikes.”
Senator Doherty addressed fundamental issues with how existing money taxpayers have paid the state for transportation programs. Doherty sponsors S-2811 to ultimately lower costs for drivers and taxpayers via the “State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.”
“It is repugnant for the state to demand more money from taxpayers for the Transportation Trust Fund, without first stopping all of the waste, abuse and lack of proper oversight that is clearly occurring with New Jersey road, bridge and other infrastructure projects,” Doherty said. “With alternatives to meet our transportation funding needs, including reducing our highest-in-the-nation highway costs, raising the gas tax should be the last option that the legislature considers. How can we justify asking more from drivers when it's clear that the gas taxes they already pay aren't spent wisely?”
Senators Beck and Doherty today launched an online petition, www.senatenj.com/nogastax, providing an opportunity for New Jersey residents to make their voices heard for alternatives against that regressive, burdensome tax.
Senator Beck highlighted the long-term plan: “This long-term plan can be supported by a modest 3.34 percent state revenue growth, which is the average for the last six years, and by tapping into underutilized sources that already exist and also initiating cost savings, such as consensus health care reforms to provide public employees with a ‘gold’ standard. Beyond solving transportation and pension crises, it would also taking care of state debt service, fixed-cost increases and responsible discretionary spending levels.”
“When the state beats 3.34 percent revenue growth, the excess revenues would be lock boxed, and if there’s a year below 3.34 percent with no money in the lock box, the a conservative TTF bonding program for capital projects could be raised to make up any difference.
Senator Beck concluded: “The beauty of this plan stretches beyond the avoidance of destructive Democrat tax hikes. Once we finish the seventh year, our TTF and pension funds are solvent and almost completely pay-go, with excess revenues being generated and saved for priorities such as further tax relief.”