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Voting on November 8th: Public Question #2 – Where does the new Gas Tax go?

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On November 8th, 2016 New Jersey voters will be able to decide if the recent rise in gas taxes go 100% to the Transportation Trust Fund.

Public Question #2: This amendment would dedicate all of the revenue from the State tax on motor fuels to the Transportation Trust Fund (Yes Vote). The current dedication is 10.5 cents per gallon on gasoline and diesel fuel. The amendment would include an additional three cents of the tax on diesel fuel that is not currently dedicated. The total revenue from the tax on motor fuels this fiscal year is estimated to be $541 million.

The amendment also dedicates all of the revenue from the tax on gross receipts of the sale of petroleum products to the Transportation Trust Fund. The current minimum dedication is $200 million per year. This fiscal year, the revenue from the tax on gross receipts of the sale of petroleum products is estimated to be $215 million.

NOTE: This amendment does not change the current tax on motor fuels or petroleum products gross receipts. The dedication to the Transportation Trust Fund ensures that the revenue is only used for transportation purposes.

A "yes" vote supports this proposal to dedicate all revenue from gas taxes to transportation projects. 

A "no" vote opposes this proposal, thus devoting the same levels of revenue to transportation projects. 

Question 2 and the gas tax

Question 2 was intended to complement a gas tax increase. The amendment itself does not increase the gas tax. On September 30, 2016, Gov. Christie and the Democratic-controlled state legislature agreed to increase the gas tax 23 cents per gallon. As part of the agreement, the estate tax was eliminated, the Earned Income Tax Credit was increased, a tax deduction for veterans was created, and the state sales tax will be reduced from 7 to 6.625 percent in 2018.

Question 2 would guarantee that revenue from the additional 23 cents gas tax and the existing 10.5 cents gas tax to the Transportation Trust Fund.

Arguments for a Yes Vote:

Road to Repair, the organization leading the support campaign, argued:

  • “It is imperative that New Jersey voters vote “Yes” on Question 2 this November 8th. This ballot initiative ensures all revenue from the gas tax will be constitutionally dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund, allowing the state to finally get to work on rebuilding New Jersey’s crumbling roads and bridges.
  • The successful passage of Question 2 will prevent Trenton from misusing funds meant for transportation infrastructure and provide a sustainable and steady source of funding for our infrastructure so that Trenton will no longer be forced to borrow money for the TTF, which was the reason the fund went bankrupt this past summer, resulting in the $3.5 billion transportation shutdown.
  • If Question 2 does not pass, the future of New Jersey’s transportation system will be thrown back into limbo, and politicians in Trenton will continue piling up crushing debt.
  • Given that New Jersey has the 8th worst bridges in the nation and road conditions that cost the average motorist more than $2,600 a year in operating costs, this dedicated source of funding will provide a much-needed safety and economic boost for New Jerseyans across the state.
  • Improved infrastructure means less congestion and traffic for New Jersey commuters and improved efficiency for businesses. Voting “Yes” on Question 2 will also require the out-of-staters who use New Jersey’s roads every day to finally pay their fair share when they fill-up in New Jersey.

At the time of this article: There was no published opposition to a Yes Vote. We hope through this article that voters in our area stay informed and get involved.

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