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No gas tax, NJ’s not paying for roadwork … so your property taxes could spike

Friday, July 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 07/15/16

Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he’ll meet this week with Gov. Chris Christie to propose new options for tax cuts that can be adopted along with a 23-cent a gallon hike in the gas tax. Construction work is currently idled, at Christie’s direction, and counties and municipalities say they – meaning property tax payers – will face extra costs for the shutdown and eventual restart. And if there’s not a solution and all costs for local road and bridge projects are shifted to counties and municipalities, the cost could get hefty. Construction and borrowing costs aren’t limited by the 2 percent cap on increases in property tax levies.


“Who’s going to pay for that infrastructure? It’s going to be counties and municipalities,” said Hope Township Mayor Timothy McDonough. “If you want to see tax increases in this state, there you go. That’s where you’ll see it.”  Warren County Freeholder Ed Smith said it would amount to a 10 percent increase in the county’s property tax rate if all the money received from the Transportation Trust Fund was instead raised through local taxes. “We do not have the ability to raise the kind of revenue necessary to maintain what is ultimately a statewide infrastructure,” Smith said. “It will certainly lead to more borrowing,” said John Donnadio, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties. “… So certainly it will have an impact long-term on local property taxpayer dollars.”


Some towns have indicated they don’t plan to adhere to the state’s directive shutting down projects temporarily. There’s risk associated with that, indicated Joseph Brickley, the Burlington County engineer and president of New Jersey Association of County Engineers. “Typically in our funding agreements, it’s very distinct. We take our direction from them. Failure to follow their direction will result in a loss of funds,” Brickley said. “Any municipality and/or contractor who works in defiance of the shutdown order assumes all associated risks,” said the NJDOT’s Schapiro.

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