No Need to Wait for Governor’s Plan

While the Gov was busy covering his asset monetization in “financial restructuring” down the Shore at the League last week, the press seemed resigned to let taxpayers wait until the State of State in January to learn any more about the chief exec's fiscal solvency plans.

Even the brain trust assembled last weekend around NJN’s Reporters Roundtable lamented that reality.

So here’s a novel idea. Stop waiting for the the Front Office to deliver a gift-wrapped copy of the plan and start doing a little digging for the facts.

The Governor has all but promised toll hikes.

So, in the category of Questions We Should Be Asking, here’s a few:

  • How much of the current revenue generated on NJ toll roads actually comes from out-of-staters? Is it 50% as Trish Graber tossed out during the NJN taping?
  • Whatever the percentage, where do those in-state residents live? Who is most likely to pay for the Governor’s debt reduction plan?
  • For the average EZ Pass user, how would this tax hike compare to say, a penny on the sales tax?
And to the question that asked why can’t anyone find a source who can ballpark how much revenue needs to be raised in order to generate a return on a $15 billion investment by Wall Street standards, Tom Hester’s AP story should be reread (Toll hike could be down the Pike – Increase of 150% seen as plausible).

Here, a financial analyst comes a lot closer to estimating the real toll increases as compared to the "buck or so" that was kicked around by the Roundtable.

Just think what drivers can do with that kind of information. For one thing, they can start planning their new daily commuting routes onto non-toll roads. Or they can call their local realtor.

NOTE: For more about what the press has – and has not – covered on this issue, read “Is There A Better Way to Cover Asset Monetization?

No Need to Wait for Governor’s Plan