Gas tax anger blurring ballot question

New Jersey voters on Tuesday will be asked to weigh in on Public Question 2, a ballot initiative to dedicate all the revenue from the state gas tax to transportation projects.

The Legislature voted nearly a year ago to send the constitutional amendment to voters, without a whiff of controversy. Hp gas online booking no New Jersey already dedicates a chunk of state revenue to transit projects every year.

In recent weeks, however, the ballot question has become a lightning rod drawing outrage from Lt. Gas 2 chainz Gov. O gastroenterologista cuida do que Kim Guadagno and a conservative radio host, who have been urging the public to vote it down.

Of all the ballot initiatives batted around in New Jersey in recent years — to ramp up pension payments, to raise the minimum wage, to allow casinos in North Jersey, to radically change the legislative redistricting process — the effort to lock down a stable source of financing for transit projects stirred the least debate.

When the Assembly voted unanimously to approve the ballot question in December, and when the Senate followed in January with a 36-1 vote, no one spoke in opposition and nearly every elected official in Trenton described it as an innocuous way to ensure good government.

But then Governor Christie and lawmakers raised the gas tax by 23 cents last month to round up new money for New Jersey’s fraying roads, bridges and railways.

Lacking an easy avenue to repeal the unpopular increase in the gas tax, critics including Guadagno and 101.5 FM host Bill Spadea began to take aim at the ballot question.

A “no” vote on the ballot question could throw a wrench into Christie’s overall transportation plan and kill the gas tax increase, forcing everyone “back to the drawing board,” they argue.

Anyone who cares about good government should vote in favor of Question 2 to ensure that lawmakers spend the extra 23 cents only on roads, bridges and railways, Prieto said. Electricity review worksheet Without the constitutional amendment, lawmakers could raid the new gas tax revenue and spend it on other budget priorities or pet projects, he said.

Erica Jedynak, state director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, agreed and urged voters to approve Question 2 “so that gas tax revenues go directly to transportation funding, and not hundreds of other purposes in the general fund.”

Christie and lawmakers struck a deal to finance transportation projects for the next eight years with $16 billion. Gas jobs pittsburgh The money would come from the increased gas tax and up to $12 billion in borrowed money.

One of the bills in the legislative package Christie signed, A10, authorizes up to $12 billion in borrowing for transit projects — but that borrowing is “contingent” on Question 2’s passage, according to the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services.

Guadagno said the state’s Transportation Trust Fund is deeply indebted and that adding $12 billion to the debt load would increase costs for taxpayers down the line.

“A no vote is a vote against billions in debt without the means for repayment,” according to a fact sheet Guadagno posted on Twitter. Electricity invented what year “A no vote will force the Legislature to reexamine the gas tax hike bill … because the gas tax grab is tied in with the overall scheme.”

However, the gas tax increase was included in a separate bill, A12, which Christie signed as well and which is not contingent on Question 2’s passage.

If the ballot question fails, the Legislature could simply pass a new bill to authorize the borrowing of any amount different from $12 billion, without linking it to a referendum, according to Chris­tie’s Treasury Department.

“Regardless of the outcome of the ballot question, the Legislature could still authorize more than the $12 billion currently being contemplated,” Treasury spokesman Willem Rijksen said.

Prieto said both houses of the Legislature would have the votes to pass that new bill “in a heartbeat,” or any kind of “cleanup” bill if needed.

Supporters of Question 2 have spent about $1.9 million on a public relations campaign targeting voters, according to a report last week by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. Gas after eating red meat Meanwhile, there has been no recorded spending by groups who oppose the ballot measure.

Forward NJ, a coalition of businesses and advocacy groups supporting the constitutional amendment, has spent $667,000. Gas natural inc The Engineers Labor Employment Cooperative spent $1.2 million. Gas exchange in the lungs occurs due to Neither group appeared to ratchet up spending in response to Guadagno’s opposition.

“Forward New Jersey always planned for a robust campaign to help educate the public on the importance of putting gas tax dollars into a lock box,” said a spokesman for the group, Chris Donnelly. La gas leak “The lieutenant governor’s comments, as incredibly false and misleading as they may be, have not changed that.”

Far more money has been spent on Public Question 1, which asks voters to approve two casinos in North Jersey. Wd gaster website Opponents spent more than $15 million, ELEC reported. Gas zombies black ops Supporters spent more than $8.6 million, but then gave up the fight and stopped advertising.