|Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) was among the 22 nay votes on the gas tax hike for sales tax reduction swap vote Monday night. Today, he offered his full explanation for why he believes the assembly and Governor Chris Christie erred.
“Trenton’s backrooms are pushing another Wimpy ‘deal,’ gladly giving us tax relief on a proverbial Tuesday in the future for a huge gas tax hike today,” Webber said. “The gas tax hike passed Tuesday would impose a front-loaded, immediate, and permanent 160 percent gas tax increase on New Jersey’s overtaxed residents in exchange for a phased-in one penny sales tax reduction that stands on shaky ground.
“There’s a net $850 million tax increase for this year and a guaranteed $4.8 billion more in tax hikes following close behind,” the assemblyman added. “The so-called ‘deal’ doesn’t offer taxpayers their money back on this tax increase until five years from now, if it ever comes back at all. We know from experience the history of Wimpy tax ‘deals’ in New Jersey with tax increases today for promises of later relief that never arrives.”
Webber noted that for years New Jersey has allowed the increase of the income tax and sales tax multiple times on the promise of providing property tax relief that never comes.
“Just weeks ago, Democrats in the Legislature signaled that they had no intention of following through with the tax cuts they were dangling as part of their gas tax bait-and-switch,” he said. “What makes us think they’ll change their tune after the Christie administration is over, and the Democrats have their tax increase safely in hand?
“The Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) challenge in New Jersey is real and needs to be addressed,” the assemblyman added. “But no ‘fix’ for the TTF should exacerbate our state’s biggest problem: New Jersey’s nation-leading tax burden. There is time to craft an alternative proposal that protects our taxpayers, finds cost-savings and efficiencies for the nation’s most expensive roads, and allows adequate funding for the TTF. I urge Governor Christie and my fellow legislators to scrap this raw deal for taxpayers and get to work on solutions New Jerseyans deserve and can afford.”