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GUEST OPINION: Gas Tax Going Up This Week - Double Hit to Commuters

by New Jersey Sierra Club

 

The gas tax in New Jersey is increasing by 9.3 cents per gallon on Thursday, October 1. This will bring the gas tax total in New Jersey to 50.7 cents. Diesel will also be taxed by 57.7 cents per gallon. This is because less gas was sold in New Jersey during the 12 months ending in June 2020.

 

“Nobody likes to see the gas tax go up, but this shows that people are using less gas. People have been driving less during the pandemic, which is why the gas tax is going up. This means less air pollution. New Jersey is one of the most vulnerable states to climate impacts, so it is more important than ever for us to transition to a green economy. We need to improve our public transportation and expand electric vehicles in New Jersey for the good of the public as well as the environment,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Instead of raising the gas tax, we could use some of the money from the toll increases on the Turnpike and Parkway to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund instead of funding highway widenings. Putting toll money toward the TTF for mass transit and Fix-It-First would mean that they wouldn’t have to raise the gas tax.”

 

Once the gas tax goes up, New Jersey will have the fourth highest in the United States. The state currently ranks 10th. Experts were originally forecasting the need for a one or two cent raise, but the new shutdown of the state due to the coronavirus pandemic necessitated a higher raise.


“We need to move forward with clean vehicles because the gas tax will only continue to rise. The people have shown that we want cleaner fuels and a greener economy. Now we need to put the pressure on our elected officials to make it happen. We must make sure that New Jersey meets our clean energy goals of 100% renewable and zero-carbon by 2050. This means not giving subsidies to nuclear power or limiting the amount of solar and wind energy we can create in our state,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We must do more to reduce our state’s carbon output and fossil fuel consumption. New Jersey has the worst smog in the nation and we should be promoting public transportation as a way to reduce our impact on climate change. The failure to have good and reliable public transit is bad for the environment because it will put more people in cars and increase pollution.”

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