By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The three and a half month stalemate over New Jersey’s depleted Transportation Trust Fund came to a quiet end, with Governor Chris Christie signing two bills that raise the gas tax and lowers several other levies.

The gas tax will increase 23 cents a gallon on November 1, taking the levy from second lowest in the nation to one of the higher such taxes. Over time, the fund will be able to spend 2 billion dollars a year on county and local road projects for at least the next eight years. Hundreds of those projects, frozen by Christie since early July, can now resume.

Over the next few years, you’ll see a small reduction in the sales tax, less than half a percent. There’ll be tax breaks for veterans and the working poor. The estate tax will be phased out and retirement income exemptions will rise to 100 grand a year for a couple filing jointly.

In a statement, Christie said “This compromise legislation locks in what I called for from the beginning: tax fairness for all residents, leading to a more affordable state and an improved economy.”

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