JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Get ready to pay more at the pump this fall in New Jersey.
The state says you can blame the pandemic.
Fewer cars on the road filling up during the pandemic means the state of New Jersey has to make up the money somehow.
So as of Oct. 1, the gas tax is increasing 9.3 cents per gallon. When coupled with a 10.5 cent motor fuels tax rate for gas and 13.5 for diesel, gasoline tax will now total 50.7 cents a gallon and diesel is 57.7 a gallon.
For those who fill up frequently, this stings.
“Takes me, like, 40 bucks to get to and from work every day,” said Kevin Dowd, of Brick Township. “Would crush me.”
“I fill up like twice a week,” said Bill McCurley, of Toms River. “I drive back and forth from the shore every day.”
“It’s going to be a pocket breaker,” said Jamar Mack, of Jersey City. “At least two or three times a week, so I’m burning gas frequently.”
The state Treasury Department says gasoline consumption declined by 38.7% from March to May and diesel fuel consumption declined by 16.5%.
It says the tax increase goes with a 2016 law requiring a steady stream of revenue for the Transportation Trust Fund Program — more specifically, $16 billion over eight years going towards critical infrastructure improvements to roadways and bridges in the state.
According to the law, when a target isn’t being met, the gas tax rate has to be adjusted accordingly.
“If they got make up the money, they gotta make up the money,” said Zack Saoud, of Little Falls.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, back in July, New Jersey paid the tenth highest gas tax in the country with Pennsylvania in second and New York in seventh.
But that’s of little consolation to Jersey drivers who are also bracing for a toll increase on three major highways in September.
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.