To the Assembly and Senate:
1) If you must pass a gas tax, it should be for no more than ten cents a gallon which is frozen for five (5) years. You should also keep both the estate tax and sales tax as they exist now until the transportation fund is met/replenished, and all payments for state workers and funds borrowed from the police, firefighters and teachers’ unions have been repaid. The added tax will also impact the farming communities as all of their businesses revolve around machinery that uses either gasoline or diesel fuel. This added cost will just add to the burden to the small farmer.
2) You might also revisit the tax reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania, as well as checking how much it costs to build highways in other states, even if this means lowering the gross amount of wages a bit as to competitive bidding.
3) Additionally, the State should require a bond to be put in place by the company awarded the bid for any work performed for the state, but especially for road work. This Bond would guarantee the bid awardee’s work for a period of 25 years from the date of completion.
4) Additional funding to build more light rail projects should be shared by the surrounding states that connect with New Jersey as they benefit from the commuter travel as well. This should be a separate fund from that to repair and build new roads and bridges, and should be funded by the rail companies and the other states as this is a specialized transportation system.
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5) Again, the work needs to be bonded by the construction companies as to defects and durability for a goodly number of years.
6) To promote more commerce, you should look into enticing more businesses and green industries to start up or relocate in the counties of Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester and Atlantic –areas that have lost what few manufacturing jobs were in existence for years. These areas are among some of the poorest in the State…this is a part of New Jersey that could use decent paying jobs for its citizenry.
Judith Ann Hitchner
Alloway Township, Salem County, New Jersey