Jackson council calls on state leaders to rescind gas tax increases

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JACKSON – Township Council members in Jackson want New Jersey’s elected leaders to immediately return the state’s gas tax to the level it was at prior to October 2016.

That month, Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law that added 23 cents per gallon to the gas tax, raising the tax from 14.5 cents to 37.5 cents per gallon.

New Jersey’s elected representatives said the additional revenue that would be generated by the higher gas tax was needed to keep the Transportation Trust Fund solvent. The trust fund is used to pay for transportation projects throughout the Garden State.

In addition to authorizing the initial 23-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax, the law contains a provision that permits the gas tax to be raised each year if gasoline sales fail to reach a certain level.

Under the law, the gas tax has subsequently been raised and now stands at 48.4 cents per gallon.

During a recent meeting, council President Barry Calogero, Vice President Alex Sauickie, Councilman Ken Bressi, Councilman Martin Flemming and Councilman Andrew Kern passed a resolution which calls for a rollback of the gas tax.

The resolution cites the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and states that the 2016 increase of 23 cents per gallon occurred during a period of unprecedented economic growth in the United States and in New Jersey.

Council members said that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of residents of Jackson face economic uncertainty, loss of employment, loss of savings and potential foreclosure or eviction from their residence due to the shutdown of the nation’s economy.

Given those circumstances, council members said it is only appropriate for New Jersey’s leaders to immediately repeal and rescind all gas tax increases since 2016 during this time of economic crisis.

The resolution states that when the public health emergency eventually diminishes, the residents of Jackson will have lost substantial amounts of income and will need to return to work, and that the state can assist those individuals by immediately rolling back all gas tax increases to 2016 levels during these unprecedented economic times.