The New Jersey Legislature approved a $.23 per gallon sales tax increase today, accompanied by a phase out of the estate tax, a gradual fractional reduction in the sale tax and tax breaks for veterans and the working poor. The Senate vote was 28-14. The vote in the Assembly was 44-27.
TRENTON — Planned votes on measures to raise the gasoline tax 23 cents a gallon to raise money for road improvements and cut $1.4 billion in taxes were put off two days after proponents ran into a procedural hurdle in the state Senate on Wednesday. Senators said Wednesday the upper chamber was short the 30 votes… Read the rest of this entry »
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Assembly Budget Officer, said today that no New Jersey legislator can responsibly vote on a bill to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) if a constitutional amendment requiring the state to make specified annual payments to state employees pensions funds is on the ballot this November.
“No legislator from either party can cast a responsible vote on any TTF plan until we know if the disastrously flawed Democrat constitutional amendment will be on the ballot. If the Senate Democrats irresponsibly vote to place the amendment on the ballot they are voting to put any TTF decision off until after November – at least.
O’Scanlon said that the constitutional amendment proposed by the Democratic majority has three fatal flaws:
TRENTON — In the ongoing road funding battle, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Friday advanced legislation raising the tax on gasoline sold in New Jersey by 23 cents and offering tax breaks to seniors, veterans and the working poor. But the vote — 8-4 with one abstention — could be in vain if Democrats… Read the rest of this entry »
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone said he will announce a plan to restart the Shark River dredging project Wednesday morning at the Shark River Marina in Neptune Township.
The project, which had restarted on schedule on July 1 was halted at midnight on July 8 when Governor Christie’s executive order halting projects funded by the Transportation Trust Fund took effect.
The legislature failed to pass TTF funding with a $.23 per gallon gas tax on June 30th. The Senate’s plan was to increase the gas tax while phasing out the estate tax and reducing income taxes on retirees. Christie and the Assembly agreed on a bill that would have raised the gas tax and reduced the sales tax from 7% to 6%. Senate President Steve Sweeny and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto agreed to pass a revised version of the Senate’s original bill last week. Yesterday, Christie said the Democrats plan is “dead on arrival.”
Arnone in talks to keep Monmouth County projects going uninterupted
Governor Chris Christie issued an Executive Order last night shutting down all projects funded by the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. The fund’s authorization expired at midnight though published reports indicated that there is enough money in the fund to continue work through mid-August.
Christie’s dramatics came as a result of the Legislature failing to reauthorize the fund. The Senate was considering a bi-partisan plan to reauthorize the fund with a $.23 per gallon gas tax increase while also phasing out the estate tax and income tax on retirement income. The Assembly passed legislation negotiated by Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto in the wee hours of Tuesday morning that would increase the gas tax $.23 and phase in a reduction in the state sales tax from 7% to 6%. Christie said the last minute sales tax reduction was his idea.
The Christie/Prieto plan was widely panned from both the left an right and had little support in the Senate.
No plan under consideration addressed New Jersey’s highest in the nation cost of road construction: an estimated $2 million per mile on average.
TRENTON — New Jersey motorists may not have to worry about their gas taxes skyrocketing this weekend. The state Senate will not vote Thursday on Gov. Chris Christie’s offer to raise the gas tax in exchange for a 1-cent reduction in the sales tax, Sen. Raymond Lesniak said Thursday. The governor, in a news conference Wednesday,… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — Facing the possibility that a proposed gas-tax-increase-for-sales-tax-decrease proposal he brokered with the Assembly could go up in flames, Gov. Chris Christie made his case for the deal Wednesday. The governor called a surprise Statehouse news conference hours after Senate Democrats said they opposed the plan, which would raise gas tax by 23 cents to… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — With the cost of college rising and graduates swimming in student debt, New Jersey lawmakers are calling for a cap on in-state tuition hikes at the state’s public college and universities. The Assembly Higher Education Committee on Monday approved a bill ( A552) that would place an annual 4 percent cap on in-state tuition… Read the rest of this entry »
TRENTON — A proposal to station armed, retired police officers as security in New Jersey’s schools was revived Thursday for the new legislative session. The bill ( S86) establishes “Class Three” special police officers designated to provide security at both public and private schools. The measure was approved by the state Senate a few weeks ago… Read the rest of this entry »