TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s going to cost you more to fill up at the pump in New Jersey. A higher gas tax went into effect at midnight Thursday.
The gas tax increased by 22%. That means most drivers in the Garden State will pay almost 10 cents more a gallon.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke with commuters who said they expect to spend $8 to $10 more per week, which adds up to hundreds more per year.
“It’s something that I have noticed since the pandemic. The food is going up. The cost of everything is rising, somewhat,” Joan Brown said.
New Jersey’s gas tax rose 9.3 cents per gallon. When coupled with a 10.5 cent motor fuels tax rate for gas and 13.5 for diesel, gasoline taxes now total 50.7 cents per gallon. Diesel is 57.7 cents per gallon.
“Everyday for work I travel from Staten Island to Manhattan. I fill up at least three times a week. It’s a lot,” said Alfonso Creighton.
“A lot of people are not even getting paid right now and then they’re gonna increase gas. It’s just gonna make living harder for everyone else,” Tenisha Brown said.
The state treasure department said the tax hike is due to “lower fuel consumption trends… exacerbated by the pandemic.”
The department said gasoline consumption declined 38.7% in the beginning of the pandemic, from March to May, and diesel fuel consumption declined by 16.5%.
Even though some commuters have returned to their jobs, many are still working from home and limiting non-essential travel.
The State of New Jersey has to make up the revenue, somehow.
“A little tax increase is going to happen. I don’t think people should be that shocked. We’ve got to cover some of our losses and, if we can do it, encourage people or discourage them from driving. It’s a good thing,” said Frank Flores of Jersey City.
“It seems like they always increase the gas tax when gas prices are low, and then when gas prices go way back up again, it’s still sitting on the amount you’re paying for the gasoline,” Gloucester County resident Frank Bickert said.
“It was really decent in the beginning of COVID because you could fill up, and you weren’t really going anywhere, especially in New Jersey,” said Gloucester County resident Phyllis Williams.
The tax increase is in compliance with a 2016 state law requiring a steady flow of cash for the transportation trust fund, which must provide $16 billion over eight years for state infrastructure improvements like roadways and bridges.
By law, in order to guarantee the state has the funds, the gas tax rate had to be adjusted
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