NJ lawmakers approve gas tax hike

NJ lawmakers approve gas tax hike
Mike Mozart / Flickr Creative Commons

New Jersey legislatorsapproved a 23-cent-per-gallon gas increase in the state Friday. The gas hike now goes to Gov. Chris Christie, who is expected to sign the measure, reports said.

The vote had been expected Wednesday, but was delayed until Friday, when the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly voted, 24-14 and44-27, respectively, in favor of it.

Currently New Jersey has a 14.5-cent gas tax, the second-lowest in the country. The increasewould give it the seventh highest gas tax nationwide at 37.5 cents. But the tax would still be lower than neighboring states.

As of Wednesday, the average price for gas in New Jersey was$2 per gallon. For comparison, New York State’s average price at the pump was $2.43; the state has a 43-cent tax per gallon. Pennsylvanians pays an average $2.35 per gallon, including the state’s 51.4-cent tax per gallon.

The proposed hike will pay for transportation, includingroad, bridge and rail infrastructure.

It will also cut a number of other taxes, including the estate tax, which will be phased out by Jan. 1, 2018, and the state’s 7 percent sales tax, which will drop three-eighths of a percentage point.

-Additional reporting by Alexis Sachdev