New Jersey drivers brace for possible end of cheap gas

New Jersey's gas tax could jump from the country's second-lowest to one of the highest by Friday, and that has motorists across the state calculating the potential costs.



The Democrat-led Assembly early Tuesday passed legislation that would raise the tax by 23 cents per gallon right before the Fourth of July weekend to fund road and bridge work.



The gas tax hike would be accompanied by a sales tax cut from 7 percent to 6 percent over 18 months.



The measure heads to the state Senate on Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney says that he didn't know the Assembly vote was happening.



"It's just a matter of us talking. It's not what we had saw last night when we left. It's something radically different but that doesn't mean we can't talk to each other," Sweeney says.



Many residents are skeptical the sales tax cut will offset the gas tax increase.



"It's outrageous, 23 cents a gallon. Where do they think people are going to come up with extra money for this?" asks Clifton resident Bill Becker. "So I'm assuming none of these people want to be voted into office again."



Republican Gov. Chris Christie said the sales tax cut would save an average person about $465 a year, while the gas tax would cost about $200 per person.



The transportation trust fund deadline expires in a few days. It is set to run out of money next month.



The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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