TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — Drivers in New Jersey are now paying more for gasoline.
The gas tax rose Monday by 4.3 cents to 41.4 cents per gallon, an increase of more than 10 percent.
The hike stems from a 2016 law to fund projects for bridges, roads and tunnels. It calls for a steady revenue stream to support the $2 billion a year fund for road and bridge work.
“Not happy with it but you know it’s a sign of the times and it doesn’t surprise me,” said Carl Swierczak.
“I mean it doesn’t feel good to your pockets but at the same time you have to have gas so I just get the gas and keep it moving,” said Kelly Jenkins.
It’s the second time the gas tax has gone up since 2016, when it stood at 14.5 cents per gallon. Before that the rate hadn’t escalated in three decades.
The boost means New Jersey has the fifth-highest gas tax in the country, up from No. 8, according to 2017 data from the conservative Tax Foundation. But it’s still lower than neighboring New York and Pennsylvania.
But the tax rate may keep moving too. If drivers don’t buy enough gas to raise $2 billion for the trust fund each fiscal year, we could see more gas tax increases. Some worry if lawmakers don’t do something about it, New Jersey could end up in a vicious tax loop where prices go up, people buy less and so prices go up again, and again and again.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)