Which is worse - the politicians who come up with this stuff, or the fact that we let them?
May 3, 2012 - Citizens Against Tolls is saddened by loss of its founder and president Raymond G. Neveil on Sunday, April 29, 2012.
States considering tolls on 'free' interstates (Daily Record, 5-2-12) - The "free ride" on interstate highways may be almost over.
More tolls coming to a road near you?
If only every car had a transponder, we could make a fortune
N.J. toll scheme is dead; long live the toll scheme? (Paul Mulshine/The Star Ledger 1/26/10) - "With today’s technology, we do not need to build a single additional toll booth in America; sensors and transponders can do the work. With technology, we can even adjust the prices on a road regularly to ensure that it never becomes congested." - James Simpson, Governor Chris Christie's nominee to be transportation commissioner.
New Jersey Election (11-3-09) - Congratulations Governor Elect Chris Christie. Citizens Against Tolls is looking forward to working with you. CAT realizes eliminating tolls isn't as pressing as issues like property tax, budget short falls, etc. But we must work to reduce government bloat, and simply put, toll roads are the most bloated. Citizens would save millions if we removed them.
"Democratic governor, Jon S. Corzine, says he may revisit his plan to lease the New Jersey Turnpike to raise cash". (David M. Halbfinger And David Kocieniewski, New York Times, 10/29/09)
"A Corzine gaffe on tolls"? (Paul Mulshine, The Star Ledger, 10/29/09)
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R; District 12; Monmouth County) has always been a firm supporter of CAT’s goal to eliminate tolls from the Garden State Parkway. O’Scanlon met recently with CAT representatives and concurred that elimination of GSP tolls is just as wise a move now – in these hard financial times – as it ever was. Although other political issues (property tax reform, ethics reform, etc.) may be ahead of GSP toll elimination on the “To Do List” of the incoming Governor, O’Scanlon agrees that this issue should be on the Agenda as well, and he is committed to work toward this goal. Assemblyman O’Scanlon can be reached at www.district12reformers.com, via email at AsmOScanlon@njleg.org, or via US mail at his District Office at 32 Monmouth St.; Red Bank; NJ 07701. If you have comments/questions, please contact him. AND be sure to thank him for his ongoing support of Citizens Against Tolls.
Turnpike paid $11M in overtime last year (Star Ledger, 3-16-09) - Chronic absenteeism cited as well as a 24-7 schedule. It includes a toll collector who collected $41,745 in overtime on top of her base salary of $58,925.
CAT: Tolls are inherently a very inefficient process. Collectors are needed 24-7, and even on Christmas (at triple-time). Quite possibly there are slow times when a collector isn't even collecting enough to cover their own salary and benefits. And the only way to solve that problem is to eliminate tolls and pay for all roads in the same efficient way - with the gas tax.
Note from webmaster: $58,925 base salary?! I'm a professional with the same company for over 23 years, and I never approached that figure, even with overtime. I guess I'm in the wrong profession. But on the other hand, my benefits are a lot worse too. - jim padykula.
Toll-Tax hikes take effect 12/1/08
And that's only round 1. Set to more than double in 4 years!
Turnpike Parkway Everyone Else Pre Dec. 1, 2008 $1.20 (+ gas tax) $0.35 (+ gas tax) gas tax Current $1.70 (+ gas tax) $0.50 (+ gas tax) gas tax 2012 $2.60 (+ gas tax) $0.75 (+ gas tax) gas tax
Don't forget, toll road drivers pay gas tax too.
The tax burden to drive on most roads is measured in pennies per trip.
The tax burden to drive on toll roads is measured in dollars per trip.
...Yet Governor Corzine thinks toll road drivers are the ones that need a tax hike.
Toll Hikes Approved for Parkway, Turnpike, A.C. Expressway (TriStateNews.com, 10-20-08) - The New Jersey Turnpike Authority voted Friday to raise tolls on the turnpike and Garden State Parkway to finance transportation projects that include the widening of both highways and a second rail tunnel into Manhattan.
A plan to raise N.J. tolls ... Take 2 (Star-Ledger, 9/5/08) - Parkway and Turnpike costs would more than double by 2012.
Toll Hikes would fund state transit projects (Star-Ledger, 9/6/08).
Foes begin to rev up opposition while 'Toll Hike II' gains traction (Star-Ledger, 9/10/08) - Sen. Leonard Lance accused Governor Corzine of "hiding behind the Turnpike Authority to ram a toll increase down the throats of middle-class commuters". U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and his opponent, former congressman Dick Zimmer, opposed the toll hike plan. "New Jersey families are struggling to deal with higher gasoline and food prices while paying the highest state and local taxes in the country. The last thing we need is drastically higher tolls," Zimmer said.
GOP senator notes concerns over use of toll hike money (Star-Ledger, 9/11/08) - Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) said state law prohibits using Turnpike and Parkway toll revenue for anything other than highway projects or "non-highway transportation projects on an interim basis". "It is obvious that a multibillion-dollar trans-Hudson rail tunnel is neither a highway project nor an interim project," Lance said.
CAT: Wouldn't it be nice if the law simply said: "Turnpike and Parkway toll revenue can not be used for anything other than the Turnpike and Parkway"?
GOP wants to put brakes on highway toll hikes (Star-Ledger, 9/16/08).
Hearing on toll-hike plan stirs anger and anxiety (Star-Ledger, 9/24/08) - Commuters offer criticism while construction workers applaud.
Drivers likely to get a break on toll increases (Star-Ledger, 10/1/08) - Corzine's order to cut highway projects may trim proposed hikes on Turnpike, Parkway.
CAT: This is just Governor Corzine's attempt to make it look like he's the good guy, but he has always had it in for toll road drivers. It's still an increase, and it's still unfair - toll road drivers already pay several times what toll-free drivers pay for the same service. Just raise the gas tax and everyone pays equally and efficiently! Oh, and guess what tax will probably be raised next?
Don't forget, toll road drivers pay gas tax too!
End double taxation - End tolls!
Toll hikes, Round 3: Lighter, easier (Star-Ledger, 10/8/08) - New plan includes smaller increases, discounts for truckers, seniors.
CAT: How is this either lighter or easier?? It's slated to more than double in four years! I can't think of any other tax that has gone up faster. This is outrageous even by NJ standards.
As tolls rise, P.A. employees still get a free ride (Star-Ledger, 8/11/08) - Agency lost $1M last year on E-ZPass perk for workers, retirees.
Traffic deaths fall nationwide to lowest rate on record (Star-Ledger, 8/15/08) - ...Authorities are more closely looking for trends in fatal accidents - a cluster of crashes in a given spot on the New Jersey Turnpike or Garden State Parkway, for example - and then analyzing whether the trouble is linked to speed or highway design. If speed is a factor, saturation patrols might be employed to slow traffic. In other cases, highway engineers might make recommendations for reducing crashes".
Need help finding the crashes?
The question is: Didn't those highway engineers notice that accidents are over 4 times higher near tollbooths, or is money just more important than safety in New Jersey? Sadly, the answer is obvious.
Dead or just hibernating?
TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE BUDGET
AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
January 23, 2008 – Room 4; State House Annex
Re: Gov. Corzine’s Financial Restructuring and Debt Reduction Proposal
Gov. Corzine’s plan to reduce State debt by increasing tolls places the burden of debt reduction on a relatively small population of our state. In addition, tolls have been proven to be the most expensive and least efficient tax to collect due to the cost of salaries, facilities, maintenance of toll structures, etc.
A more fair solution is to effectuate increases in all three existing taxes – sales, income and gasoline. These increases should be temporary, with automatic “sunsets” built into them. This solution balances the responsibility of State debt reduction on ALL New Jerseyans and out-of-staters as well. And the costly process of fees to law firms and bonding houses is avoided. In the Governor’s proposed plan, the restructuring of toll taxation, creation of the proposed “Public Benefit Corp.,” issuance of new bonds, and administration of the process would cause huge layouts of funds to lawyers and bond merchants. We have not heard a valid reason from Gov. Corzine as to WHY this well-balanced solution is not being considered. We hear only that he WON’T consider it! As far as example of revenue raised, a ONE PENNY INCREASE in the gas tax would raise approximately $46 million/year, so it seems that an appropriate increase in gas tax to fit the current situation would be productive and not prohibitive for drivers.
The combination of cutting cost of State government and instituting appropriate and temporary raises in existing taxes would generate necessary funds to reduce State debt significantly over a finite period of time and would not place a 75-year yoke of debt upon the already-burdened taxpayers.
Submitted by John Millett
Citizens Against Tolls
(Citizens Against Tolls is a member of the Save Our Assets NJ Coalition)
The citizens of New Jersey are pleading with Governor Corzine to end the gimmicks and borrowing, cut waste and spending, and lower taxes. His reply? "When pigs fly" ("But pigs will fly over the Statehouse before there’s a realistic level of new taxes or spending cuts that can fix this mess" - Gov. Jon Corzine).
Instead, he comes out with a plan that painfully increases taxes (aka tolls), then immediately borrows against them, and even adds to the government bloat by adding tolls to an existing free road.
Will November Be Too Late?
Reminiscent of the "Florio Free in 93" campaign, CAT is getting comments to "remember in November". Unfortunately, if Corzine succeeds in ramming his plan through, the next election will be too late - the money will be borrowed and spent by then, and the ramifications felt for the next 75 years. We can't let this happen. Do I hear...?
Click Here for more on the Growing Public Doubt
And yes, Governor, CAT does have a suggestion: Stop the gimmicks and borrowing, cut spending by reducing wasteful bureaucracy, and lower overall taxes. How? Don't monetize the tolls, ELIMINATE THEM!
FACT: Eliminating tolls is the ONLY plan that will lower
our overall tax burden by reducing bureaucracy.
CAT commends Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D; #19) for his wise questioning of Gov. Corzine's plans to increase tolls to reduce State debt. Legislators on both sides of the aisle should take a lesson from A'man Wisniewski's well-grounded doubts and concerns and be diligent in protecting New Jersey's taxpayers. CAT advocates prudent increases in existing State taxes with those increases to roll back as debt is reduced -- a much wiser and more economical solution!
Join the fight against monetization.
Links to other sites
One more suggestion:
Why not monetize the Turnpike to free the Parkway?
For years we were told that you didn't have the money to remove the tolls from he Parkway. Question: Why didn't anyone think of this plan as a way to free the Parkway? Of course, it wouldn't be fair to Turnpike drivers, but at least it would be more fair than giving the money to non-toll road users.