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Four-cent gas-tax increase coming in October, NJ Treasury says

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Starting Oct. 1, the state treasury will increase the gas tax by 4.3 cents per gallon.
Starting Oct. 1, the state treasury will increase the gas tax by 4.3 cents per gallon. - ()

Now's as good a time as any to fill up your tanks.

Starting Oct. 1, the state treasury will hike the gas tax by 4.3 cents per gallon, bringing the total price out of pocket to 26.9 cents a gallon.

Under the 2016 law authorizing a 23-cent gas-tax hike to fund the Transportation Trust Fund, the state is able to increase the rate in order to meet revenue targets, said New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.

New Jersey’s TTF is required to provide $16 billion over eight years to fund “critical infrastructure improvements to the state’s roadways and bridges,” the treasury said.

In 2017, gas consumption declined and the state missed its revenue target by $42.6 million, but the Christie administration didn’t enact an increase, the treasury said.

Then in 2018, the state missed its target by another $125.2 million, which, by law, triggered the increase, according to Muoio.

By the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the state will need to have raised $2.073 billion through the gas tax, she said.

“The precise change in the gas tax rate is dictated by several factors, all of which are beyond the control of the current administration,” Muoio said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, because the Christie administration overestimated gas consumption rates last year, the tax rate has to be increased by nearly two cents more this year in order for us to meet our obligation under the statute and fully fund the state’s many pressing transportation infrastructure needs.”

Treasury and legislative budget officials convene in August following the end of the prior budget year to determine how much the TTF drew into its coffers.

If the state doesn’t meet its targets then the cap has to be raised, Muoio said. If the state draws in more money than required under the 2016 law, the gas tax can be lowered to account for the surplus.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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Lee brewer September 11, 2018 10:23 pm

I will amazed if they ever lower the tax at the pump level. NJ tax authority will develop another convoluted tax for a rebate that you must fill out to earn that rebate of your own money.

jk August 31, 2018 3:13 pm

Well, Just goes to show you that if you tax it the consumption will go down. Most gas station owners in NJ tell me that as soon as the gas tax went into effect their salves volumes went way down because there was no longer a value to the PA,NJ,DE driver fueling up in NJ anymore. We all better sell out in NJ and move as the business' will be moving out. real estate values will then go down along with our quality of life. When will the democrats learn that raising taxes to make up for crazy spending does not work. Ask yourself, Why would a business want to move or expand in NJ and create jobs a good economy when you can go across the river and prosper?