NJ gasoline tax already high enough! Problem is unconstitutional debt.

gas-taxThe ?smart? people in state politics and the media say we need higher gasoline taxes to fix our roads and bridges.??? They are wrong. We already pay $1.2 billion in state highway taxes.?? They include a half billion dollars added at the pump, ?$215 million on a hidden ?petroleum tax? at the wholesale level, ?and another half? billion dollars of our 7% state sales tax earmarked for transportation.

We also pay all sorts of tolls, along with $1.6 billion of federal gasoline taxes that are spent in New Jersey. The taxes we already pay are more than enough to give us the finest roads in America. But instead, almost all of our highway tax money is used to pay back some $16 billion of debt run up by the ?New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority? for the next 31 years!

NJ taxpayers have no legal obligation to repay that money.? That is ?because the loans were never approved by voters as required by our state Constitution.?? That particular section of the NJ Constitution (and most state constitutions) was added in 1844 to fix the economy after the economic collapse that began with the “Panic of 1837”.?? That collapse was caused by out-of-control state government corruption cause by out-of-control state government borrowing for “pay-to-play” construction projects.??? (Most of the abandoned canals around New Jersey were built with borrowed money, but were obsolete before they were finished because of the invention of railroads.)

We have no moral obligation to repay the “Transportation Trust Fund Authority” debt because?Republican governors Kean, Whitman, and Christie, and Democrat governors ran the NJ Highway “Trust” fund like a Ponzi scheme for roughly 25 years.??? They deliberately spent $1.5 billion per year when the fund was only taking in $1.2 billion??? They worked this “magic” by mortgaging gas tax, sales tax, and toll money for next 31 years, leaving nothing left over for repairs and new roads.

Most of that “extra” highway “trust” money?was spent on projects that gave fat profits to inside union contractors and Wall Street bankers, but did very little for the rest of us. For example, $1 billion of this borrowed money was spent on the nearly empty Camden to Trenton trains that cost $30 per passenger to operate. New Jersey spends $2 million for every mile of road.?? This is triple the $675,000 spent by Massachusetts, the next highest state, and more than 8 times the national average. We spent half a billion dollars to replace two simple draw bridges between Somers Point and Ocean City.?? Did we have to build an artificial mountain for a new visitor center??? Did we have to build a Pulaski Skyway over a mile of swamp? To fix our broken roads and bridges, we must first fix our broken ?pay to play? political culture.?? The first step is to restructure our government debt and force government officials to make better use of the taxes we already pay.

Low gasoline prices are the last chance to bring back NJ’s economy.????The billions of dollars we are saving each year can give every New Jersey resident and business extra money to spend, save, and invest.

We have low gas prices in spite of politicians, not because of them.? Brilliant engineers for daring small companies created new technology to give us more gas and oil than we need.

Don’t let NJ politicians kill our last chance for recovery by raising the gas tax and giving us high gas prices again.?? There are 8 million people in New Jersey.??? All 80 NJ Assembly members and about 20 NJ state senators will be up for election in the June 2 primary.?? The deadline for filing nominating petitions to become a candidate is March 30.????? Not a single Republican or Democrat Assembly member, State Senator, or candidate has publicly opposed a hike in the gas tax.?? Out of 8 million people, are there 60 patriots willing to become candidates and stop the gas tax hike?

  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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