TRENTON, N.J. – On Sept. 9, 2020, the Office of Legislative Services and Treasury testified in front of the Assembly Budget Committee. Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso focused on the 9.3 cents gas tax increase, pointing to the unusually high hike as politically motivated.
“It seems almost as if we’re padding the coffers a little bit so next year we can have a reduction,” DiMaso (R-Monmouth) told the former OLS budget and finance officer last year.
The gas tax was raised only $4.3 cents in 2019 to fill a $125 million deficit. The deficit last year was $156 million. A one-cent increase is typically akin to roughly $50 million in tax revenue. Depressed traffic due to Covid-19 changed revenue estimates, which were undershot by nearly $60 million.
“Treasury is saying their projections were on point because they projected a major gas tax cut before the election,” said DiMaso, reacting to news of this year’s decrease. “It was clear as day last year that the gas tax was jacked up for political benefits. From the looks of it, the people of New Jersey have been successfully conned by the Murphy administration.”
The gas tax will decrease 8.3 cents on Oct. 1, nearly wiping out last year’s increase.