No surprise here. The residents of the most heavily taxed State in the Union do not want a gas tax increase. Unfortunately, it's going to happen, it's just a question of how much. The State's transportation trust fund is nearly empty and if it is not replenished soon transportation projects will stop and billions in federal aid will be jeopardized.
Governor Corzine's powers of persuasion are going to be tested in the gas tax debate. He is going to have to make the case to a skeptical public and a reluctant legislature that an increase is necessary. The size of the increase will certainly make a difference with the public, but will the amount needed for the fund be more than the public is willing to swallow?
Just add this to the list of looming crises for Governor Corzine; soaring property taxes, a gaping hole in the State budget and, now, a bankrupt transportation infrastructure program. Please remind me, why did Jon Corzine want to be Governor?
Comment by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Academic Associate Michael P. Torpey (J.D., Seton Hall University School of Law). Michael is a former Chief of Staff to Governor Christine Todd Whitman and served as New Jersey Director of Campaign Operations for Bush-Cheney '04. Michael Torpey, Esq., can be reached at 609-394-0888.