New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio testified before the Assembly Budget Committee on April 1, 2019 and said that revenue from this year’s ‘gas tax’ was near its target and she was “cautiously optimistic” another increase won’t be necessary later this year.
The gas tax was overhauled in 2016, when it was increased by 23 cents per gallon. A formula was put in place to ensure enough revenue was generated to support $2 billion in annual spending on road, bridge and mass transit projects. There was another 4.3 cents per gallon increase approved last year and Treasury forecasts about $1.5 billion in revenue from the gas tax both this year and next.
The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS), in testimony by revenue analyst David Drescher, was not as optimistic an increase won’t be needed, noting that an adjustment to the tax rate could be required if gas consumption doesn’t increase in the next few months.
The State Treasury and will work together to decide whether an increase is needed sometime in August. If an increase is approved, it would take effect October 1, 2019.