Many New Jersey residents filled their tanks on Monday, Oct. 31, in order to avoid the tax increases the next day. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, residents saw the first Garden State tax hike on gas in over twenty five years. As a result of this newly-enforced tax hike, New Jersey has gone from having some of the lowest gas prices in the country to being among the highest.
With times as troubling as they are, the tax hike is only piling on to the dismay of New Jerseyans. Many people viewed the low gas prices as one of the primary incentives to travel to New Jersey. Now, those low prices are gone and people are left feeling as if they have been cheated. Yet, there are some silver linings to this situation that many people are not even considering.
In spite of the fact that New Jersey’s tax on gas has increased dramatically, it is still lower than the gas tax in the neighboring states of New York and Pennsylvania. In New York, the tax is about 43 cents per gallon, and Pennsylvania’s gas tax price is even higher at about 51 cents per gallon. By comparison, the new tax price for gas in New Jersey is 37.5 cents per gallon. So when it comes to traveling among these three northeastern states, New Jersey is still the most preferable option when it comes to purchasing gas.
Going even further, it is important to understand the purpose of this gas tax hike. The gas tax hike is the byproduct of a deal between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and lawmakers that will be beneficial to consumers and hopefully improve the roads and bridges throughout our state.
New Jersey has a higher sales tax than the majority of the country, so this deal that will decrease the sales tax is beneficial for consumers. Our state is already exempt from sales tax when it comes to unprepared foods, medicine and clothing. This new cut only adds to the luck we have when dealing with sales tax.
Also, there are some great properties in New Jersey where the expensive price tag leads to an enforcement of the considerable estate tax. Through this hike on gas taxes, the estate tax will decrease and make it easier for occupants to buy some of the finest homes New Jersey has to offer.
If things go according to plan, the increased gas tax will ultimately lead to the improvement of roads and bridges all around the state of New Jersey. Damaged roads and bridges are detrimental because they can result in car accidents. If it is necessary to have higher gas prices to increase road safety and convenience, it looks like a reasonable trade-off.
Now, this deal is not a perfect plan that will magically fix everything. Yet, it is important to remember that we must always try and understand the intentions of a certain idea and give it a chance before writing it off.
America was built on trying uncertain ideas and giving them a chance to see if they would work. Given how far our country has come, we have a pretty good track record with trying uncertain ideas.
To be even more positive, residents of New Jersey will still have their gas pumped for them even with the higher tax on gas. So before writing off this plan to dramatically increase the gas tax as a disaster, lets at least give it a chance and show some optimism in this pessimistic time.