Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-19) issued a statement this evening in response to Governor Chris Christie’s call for Estate and Inheritance tax cuts as bounty for solving the Transportation Trust Fund crisis.
“New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is out of money,” said Wisniewski, who chairs the Assembly Transportation Committee. “That means New Jersey doesn’t have enough money coming in to pay for the Transportation work that needs to be done. So at a time when New Jersey already can’t pay its bills, it is completely irresponsible for the Governor and others to suggest cutting state revenues is an acceptable compromise to increase the gas tax dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund.
“This is not a case of back scratching, log rolling or giving a little to get a little. Basic math is immune to those political expedients. There should be no trade-off for fixing the Transportation Trust Fund. Fixing our roads and bridges is not an option – it is a necessity. But what the Governor is proposing is exactly this sort of fiscal chicanery that has lead credit agencies to downgrade New Jersey’s debt nine times over the course of Governor Christie’s tenure.
“While New Jersey’s estate and inheritance taxes probably merit a reevaluation, such an assessment should only be carried out in a broader discussion of state revenues and expenditures. To do otherwise simply replaces one fiscal crisis with another.”