By Howard Monroe

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey drivers are about to be hit where it hurts — in their wallets. The State Treasury is increasing the gas tax by 9.3 cents a gallon.

“You just have to deal,” Keith Moore, of Stratford, said, “and go with the flow. Going up a little bit more is going to put a little pinch in the pocket.”

The State Treasury says they have to increase the tax because people are driving less during the pandemic. They say consumption of gasoline declined by nearly 39% between March and May at the height of the state’s lockdown orders. The increase is going into effect on Oct. 1. The additional revenue will go toward paying for road construction projects.

Under state law, the transportation trust fund needs $2 billion in funding every year. The fund pays for road and bridge projects. The funding comes from the gas tax.

The treasury says when gas tax collections fall, the gas tax has to be adjusted. When the increase takes effect, nearly 51 cents of every gallon of gas purchased will be taxes.

Diesel fuel taxes are also going by 9.3 cents a gallon.