What We Wanted to Say: New Revenue Sources, Not More Borrowing, Needed to Fund Transportation
June 19th, 2012 by Chris Sturm
Late Monday night, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted to approve S2020, a bill that authorizes increased borrowing for transportation.
The meeting had been scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., but consideration of the transportation bill did not occur until nearly 12 hours later, making it difficult for advocates to deliver their testimony.
Here is a brief summary of what New Jersey Future planned to say:
- A safe and reliable transportation system is critical to New Jersey’s future prosperity, and the system should be funded from a stable and sustainable funding source. The Christie administration and the Legislature incorporated this principle into last year’s five-year plan for the Transportation Trust Fund, proposing increasing levels of “pay-as-you-go” transportation funding starting in FY 2013. [pullquote]Rather than increasing our reliance on debt, New Jersey must identify new revenue sources, such as an updated gas tax, that will allow us to begin paying for today’s transportation improvements with today’s dollars. [/pullquote]
- Now, however, the administration proposes to divert $260 million from pay-as-you-go funding to support more borrowing. S2020 provides the statutory authority for the increased borrowing.
Rather than increasing our reliance on debt, New Jersey must identify new revenue sources, such as an updated gas tax, that will allow us to begin paying for today’s transportation improvements with today’s dollars. New revenue sources will allow the safe, convenient transportation system necessary for a healthy economy and sustained quality of life.
Move New Jersey Forward, a broad-based coalition of transportation, business, land-use and environmental advocates, labor unions and social justice organizations, came together last year to promote such sustainable funding solutions. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the administration and the Legislature on this issue.
Our written testimony provides more detail.
A companion bill, A3000, was introduced in the Assembly yesterday.