N.J. gov. faces transportation issues

News The Times November 29, 2005
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New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is facing at least two funding crises before he even moves into office: one for school construction and the other for the Transportation Trust Fund, reports The Times.

According to the newspaper, one week after the election, the Regional Plan Association—an independent organization covering parts of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut—issued a report about the transportation fund that could be called an open letter to the governor-elect.

“Governor Corzine in particular must now exhibit rare leadership. His response to this crisis will set the stage: He will either be credited with saving the system and create a legacy of sizable, important transportation improvements, or he will be held responsible for the demise of New Jersey’s highways, bridges and transit system,” says the report, titled Reform, Revenue, Results: How to Save New Jersey’s Transportation System.

According to the report, the state should:

• Permanently stabilize the operating budgets of the state Department of Transportation and N.J. Transit by constitutionally dedicating revenue from motor fuels taxes and motor vehicle fees that are already collected and going to the general fund;

• Constitutionally dedicate all new revenue intended to support the agencies’ capital programs;

• Use a variety of new revenue sources to ensure the stability of the trust fund and avoid burdening any one group of taxpayers; and

• Choose new revenue sources according to a set of criteria emphasizing stability and equity.

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