TRENTON, N.J. – A recently released report by the Reason Foundation on the performance of the nation’s highway systems ranks New Jersey at the very bottom, again. Assemblyman Erik Peterson said the report not only highlights the state’s inefficient transportation spending, but the bigger problems facing the state.
“The Reason Foundation’s report supports why I was in opposition to the gas tax. The problems with New Jersey’s transportation network is not due to lack of money, but due to policies that cause the state to pay two or three times as much per mile than the next highest state,” said Peterson (R-Hunterdon). “It is unfair to the people of New Jersey that we raised their taxes and did not correct these Democrat-created policy inefficiencies in transportation spending.”
The gas tax generated $22.6 million for the Transportation Trust Fund in 2018. New Jersey spends far more than any other state – $511,266 per mile of state controlled highway. That’s over seven times the national average of $71,117, and yet the condition of the roadways are among the worst in the country.
“Frivolous and excessive spending is an issue that goes far beyond the gas tax and our roads,” said Peterson. “The Democrats’ tax-and-spend policies are making our state totally unaffordable.”
Since Gov. Phil Murphy has taken office, the Democrat-controlled Legislature has passed more than two dozen bills increasing taxes and fees. Murphy has signed more than half of them, costing taxpayers at least $2.5 billion. Despite increasing spending, pensions and education are still underfunded by a combined $2.6 billion and property taxes – the number one concern of residents – remain the highest in the nation.
“Until the governor and the Democrats are willing to work with me and my fellow Republicans to change state policy on contracting, New Jersey’s high tax problem will never be solved and will only get worse,” said Peterson.