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N.J. will run out of money for road, rail projects this summer

Thursday, April 14, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 4/13/2016

The start of the 2017 fiscal year, on July 1, is the date when all revenue from the state gas tax will be used to pay off debt, leaving no cash for new construction projects. The fund also is at its borrowing limit. "The TTF will have some carryover into the new fiscal year, but not through the summer," Acting Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer told the Assembly Budget Committee Wednesday morning. "We will not be in a position to advance capital projects or (provide) any local aid." Committee democrats asked Hammer if he had proposed any ideas for renewing the trust fund to Gov. Chris Christie. Hammer said he had not and is expecting a solution to come from lawmakers. He also reported Christie’s comment that the TTF isn’t in crisis. "I would say it is not in crisis. I'm confident the Legislature and governor will work it out," Hammer said. "There is still time for a collaborative approach." But Assembly man Gary Schaer (D- Passaic), the budget committee chairman countered that the governor has rejected past proposals that centered around increasing the state gas tax, which has remained the same since 1988. Hamer said the $1.6 billion capital project budget under review is a place holder.

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