The State of Jersey has a bad report card on the state of their transportation. Civil engineers declare that our bridges have serious safety issues and our roads are low quality. So much stress is put on our infrastructure but what is being done about it.
In the past decades New Jersey has mostly focused on our roads and highways, that is where New Jersey spends most of its money about a fifth of that money goes to NJ Transit. This is all funded by the New Jersey Trust fund along with the federal government that puts a dollar up for every dollar the trust fund spends. Even with all this money being put to use New Jersey still has major problems with roads bridges and public transportation. New Jersey needs the trust fund to keep its infrastructure strong and safe.
Over the past decades New Jersey legislation has been borrowing money from the trust fund with the idea that they will pay it back as they go. Well the revenue from the gas tax, highway toll roads, fee increase on heavy trucks, petroleum product receipt tax, and sales tax that go into the trust fund and the amount the government has been borrowing does not add up. It not even close, New Jersey has borrowed around 11 Billion dollars from The Trust Fund and The Trust fund generates almost 1 Billion dollars. The gap is only getting bigger because of the growing interest on the loans and New Jersey continues to borrow. By 2023 the the Trust Fund will go bankrupt if something is not done. The money that the federal government matches New Jersey on will be gone, and the money that small towns and municipals need will be gone too.
New Jersey can not let this happen or we are in for a huge set back in our economy. If people can not get to work or go out and buy merchandise because the roads are awful or bridges get closed because they are not safe or the bus and train system shut down because there are no funds from the Trust Fund. Then New Jersey economy will crash because no one can get to where they want.
Solutions have been posed most of them include raising the gas tax, taking more money from the public to solve the problem. In the last couple years, Democratic lawmakers have offered a couple options, one that would mean motorists would pay another 25 cents per gallon at the pump, and another that would phase a 15 cent per gallon increase over three years. Another plan by Sen. Jennifer Beck to replenish the trust fund without tax increases, saying natural revenue growth can pay for it. Her $1.6 billion annual plan assumes total state tax collections grow 3.34 percent a year.
New Jersey needs a solution for this ever increasing problem but the burden is probably going to end up on the public’s shoulders. With no solution New Jersey is going to have an economic crisis.