TRENTON – Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3) of Paulsboro questioned why the Motor Vehicle Commission has been generating and providing so much of the revenue from motorist fees, a large percentage of which goes to the general fund.
Administrator Ray Martinez said the commission has collected $1.2 billion in revenues, but nearly $800 million in revenues were sent to the general fund. Only about $315 million will be for the operating budget.
“That’s a vehicle of taxation,” Burzichelli said. “You’re generating more money than ever. But the fees …the savings are not going back to the residents.”
But Martinez pointed out that under his watch, no motorist fees have been raised. But the assemblyman said that’s beside the point.
“The question is could the fees be lowered, the charges be lowered.”
Burzichelli has often asked various department heads about the fees they’ve been charging for supposedly certain items that are instead being diverted to the general fund to close budget gaps. Two weeks ago, he questioned the Board of Public Utilities for continuing to impose the Societal Benefits Charges on ratepayers. This is despite a large portion of the Clean Energy Fund, which is funded by the charges, has been diverted to the general fund.