‘I don't think it's the right time’: State gas tax increase of more than 9 cents takes effect
Drivers are now paying more at the pumps in New Jersey, as the state’s gas tax has risen by 22% or about 9 cents per gallon. The boost to 50.7 cents a gallon from 41.4 cents took effect Thursday.
“It is what it is,” says Lou Kirsh, of Edison. “We have to drive
to work, so we have to pay it."
Fewer people have been driving since March amid Gov. Phil
Murphy’s stay-at-home order due to coronavirus, which means less gas has been sold, is leading to
the tax increase.
“Actually, in the time that we're living now, I don't think it's
the right time to do that to people,” says Gary Rateau, of Somerset. “I think
Under a 2016 law beginning during the Christie administration, the
gas tax helps to raise money for New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund to
repair and improve roads and bridges. If enough gas is sold to provide enough
money to fund transportation needs, there’s no additional tax.
But this year, there wasn’t enough money made to support the
state’s trust fund, so the gas tax automatically increases to make up for the
“It's a really tough time,” says Kirsh. “A lot
of people still hurting, so it's kind of missed timed I think, but the people that
are working, it's OK, but the people that are not working, I think it's really
New Jersey's gas is the fourth highest taxed in the country.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.