Sen. Lesniak's plan would keep toll hikes to a minimum

Talk of leasing state roads has been going on for months, but now one state senator says there may be plans for a toll hike, which would help pay off the state?s debt and keep the highways in New Jersey?s

News 12 Staff

May 24, 2007, 10:58 PM

Updated 6,176 days ago

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Sen. Lesniak's plan would keep toll hikes to a minimum
Talk of leasing state roads has been going on for months, but now one state senator says there may be plans for a toll hike, which would help pay off the state?s debt and keep the highways in New Jersey?s possession.
Democratic Senator Ray Lesniak says there?s been talk of increasing tolls as a way to bring in investors to pay off billions in state debt without relinquishing state ownership of the roads.
?The state will continue to operate the roads, but there will be investors willing to get a return based on the efficient operation of the roads,? Lesniak said.
The last time there was an increase for the Garden State Parkway was in 1989 when tolls went up 10 cents. The last hike for the New Jersey Turnpike was in 2003. Lesniak says any future increase would be minimal.
?I have legislation that will restrict toll increases to the cost of living 2 or 3 percent a year,? Lesniak said.
Some drivers say with the rising gas prices, they will have to make some adjustments if the tolls increase. Other drivers say if it keeps the roads in Jersey?s possession, they don?t mind paying the extra money.
The state Treasury Department says Lesniak does not speak for the governor?s administration. Meanwhile, Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to announce his proposal regarding the potential lease of the Turnpike and Parkway on Tuesday.
For an extended interview with Sen. Lesniak, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO extra.


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