Christie: No Tolls On N.J. Interstates


christie4The New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway have them – tolls. Now, a transportation subcommittee is suggesting placing new tolls on interstates. CBS 2 HD spoke to the governor, who seems to have made up his mind. Placing tolls on interstate highways like 78 and 80 and asking New Jersey voters if they want to raise the gasoline tax are two suggestions being made in a report by a transition subcommittee that warns the transportation trust fund, which pays for highway, bridge and mass transit projects, will run out of money in 2011.New Republican Gov. Chris Christie was quick to respond to the recommendations today.

“I don’t favor tolls on toll roads that don’t currently have them. And I not favor and I will not sign any increase for a gas tax. We cannot do that while the state is already the most over-taxed state in the nation,” Christie said.

Many drivers we talked to agree.

“I prefer them to find a way to stop taxing everything, take more out of the casinos, take more out of the lotteries. You know, it’s a horrible thing to say, but I think that’s our best shot. You can’t tax the people no more. Half of them aren’t working,” said Jerry Carella of Cedar Grove.

“I wish they took away tolls on the roads. It’s ridiculous what we’ve been paying all this money all these years,” added Donna Farano of Long Branch.

As for existing tolls like the ones on the Turnpike, the governor said he’s against raising them. So CBS 2 HD asked Gov. Christie what he plans on doing, considering the transportation trust fund may not have money in 2012.

“We’re going to get that, Christine, but first I am going to deal with 2010 and the problems I have in 2010, which is a $1.3 billion budget deficit between now and June 30,” the governor said.

As the clock ticks the options are few in a state that will face an $11 billion deficit in 2011, that according to the governor himself. So many are asking where the money for transportation repairs will come from.

The transportation subcommittee made four other recommendations, including merging the Turnpike Authority with the agency that is in charge of the Atlantic City Expressway.

As for the huge budget deficit, the governor said he plans on making a key announcement toward the end of the week.

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  1. Connecticut seems to be doing just fine, despite outlawing tolls 20-25 years ago. Even if we do need to have tolls, the amounts are ridiculous – why the MTA bridges are close to four times the amount of similar bridges in Philadelphia (I believe $3.00 one way vs. $5.50 BOTH ways) is beyond me.