I understand our state Legislature is contemplating increasing the gasoline tax in New Jersey by as much as 100 percent. On its face, this appears to be reasonable since the current trust fund to repair our roads and bridges has been all but exhausted for some time now.
However, before we start paying the higher tax rate, it would be appropriate to ask what happened to the trust fund that was set up to pay for this work previously. The answer is that those funds were diverted to other pet projects that caught the Legislature’s fancy at the time.
How are we to protect future funds from meeting the same fate, especially given the fiscal situation in Trenton now and in the foreseeable future? In the event that this legislation passes, it should be accompanied by absolute safeguards to ensure that the money received from the tax revenues on gasoline may not be used for any other purpose.