Corzine supports Gas Tax Increase

O’SCANLON ASKS HOW CAN CORZINE SUPPORT A GAS TAX AS FUEL PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE

As the price for gasoline increased for the sixth straight day yesterday, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said Governor Corzine’s promise to raise the gas tax would add insult to injury for New Jersey consumers who are looking for a break somewhere in the economy.

“Despite the fact that demand is down, prices continue to rise and impact the consumer,” said O’Scanlon. “The only thing more enigmatic than the price of gas is Governor Corzine’s ongoing support to raise the tax on it. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he reshuffles the deck and deals the toll increase card again.”

According to a story by the Associated Press, crude oil prices passed $75 a barrel last week and nearly hit $80 on Monday, with a spokesperson from Goldman Sachs indicating the price could hit $85 a barrel by the end of the year. Some analysts blame the falling price of the U.S. dollar for the increase.

“The last thing people want to hear about is another tax increase, regardless of where it’s coming from,” continued O’Scanlon. “The governor has supporters in the Legislature who are willing to raise the gas tax, some who would even double it within three years. “Whether it’s increasing the gas tax, income tax, property tax or raising tolls, the Trenton Democrats never stop,” continued O’Scanlon. “Most of New Jersey’s taxes are among the highest in the country and apparently, the governor won’t stop until all of them achieve a top 10 status.”

The AP also reported that energy professionals could give no fundamental reason for the rising price. The president of Lipow Oil Associates predicted gas prices would increase another 10 cents per gallon over the next week. He, too, cited a weak dollar as well as policies by the Federal Reserve.

“With a region-high unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent and an economy that shows no signs of recovering, raising taxes should be off the table,” stated O’Scanlon.

O’Scanlon said he does support the Republican “Common Sense Plan for an Affordable New Jersey” which calls for dedicating $500 million in existing annual motor vehicle fees to the Transportation Trust Fund in order to fund transportation projects.

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