Why are tolls so difficult to remove? Because...
Tolls create a large number of patronage jobs for politicians to hand out.
Tolls only abuse a small group of voters.
Tolls bring in lots of revenue - NJ's 3 toll roads bring in more than the state gas tax.
Quite simply, politicians ignore us because they can. It's a perfect political trough - unfairly taxing a minority who can't do anything about it at the polls.
Removing tolls should be a question of right and wrong. Billions of dollars have been squandered collecting tolls, tons of pollution have been added to our environment, and countless man-hours have been wasted. So far the politicians have been wrong.
New Jersey's Budget Problems
We know NJ is short on cash right now. And the question is: Is now a good time to remove the tolls?
Our answer to that is a resounding: YES - It's always a good time to stop wasting money! Plus it's always a good time to reduce accidents, congestion, pollution, and aggravation.
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Congratulations Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon
Thank you for supporting CAT’s Goals
Governor Corzine has not responded to repeated requests for meetings with CAT representatives. He claims that he is strong on government efficiency; yet, he apparently fails to recognize the Parkway tolls as the unfair tax that they are! We are extremely disappointed that he has failed to speak out on this issue; and, no matter how busy his schedule might be, it would seem that he would at least have had a moment to respond to the comprehensive amount of information we have supplied - several times over - to his office. We can only hope that he will change his posture on this issue and recognize that removal of Parkway tolls is long overdue!
Accomplishments so far:
Raised the sales tax (AND applied it to more items and services).
Shut down non-essential government services to save money, then paid everyone anyway. Dear Governor - How did giving all the government employees a free paid vacation help the budget?
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
The New Jersey Legislators
They have the power to remove tolls, but instead, many do everything in their power to keep them: They maintain a high bond debt, they add E-ZPass, they want to add high speed E-ZPass, they brainwash people into thinking we can't do without tolls, and they use scare tactics against taxpayers who don't use toll roads. Tolls can be eliminated; we just have to want it first.
They say they can't find the money to remove tolls, but I think they could try a little harder, considering NJ placed last in the table below. Good gosh, just get a few more pennies back on all the dollars we pay in federal gas tax and we can remove ALL tolls from NJ.
(Source: The Tax Foundation. Fiscal year 1999, ranked highest to lowest)
|NM - $1.97
MT - $1.73
WV - $1.72
MS - $1.69
ND - $1.65
AK - $1.57
VA - $1.53
HI - $1.50
SD - $1.47
AL - $1.46
|OK - $1.43
AR - $1.39
LA - $1.36
KY - $1.35
ME - $1.31
SC - $1.28
MD - $1.27
MO - $1.22
AZ - $1.19
ID - $1.19
|TN - $1.19
IA - $1.15
RI - $1.11
VT - $1.07
KS - $1.07
WY - $1.06
NE - $1.06
|FL - $1.01
GA - $0.99
TX - $0.97
OH - $0.97
IN - $0.92
WA - $0.91
OR - $0.91
CO - $0.90
CA - $0.88
MA - $0.86
|NY - $0.85
WI - $0.84
DE - $0.83
MI - $0.82
MN - $0.79
IL - $0.73
NV - $0.73
NH - $0.69
NJ - $0.65
CT - $0.65
Assembly Bill No. 3785
There are currently two initiatives before the Governor and the Legislature which will remove tolls from the Garden State Parkway without serious loss of revenue and/or services. They are:
The C.A.T. Plan (available on this web site); and,
Assembly Bill No. 3785 (Introduced June 16, 2003)
So far, the Governor and many legislators have chosen to ignore both of these options, choosing instead to continue to degrade the public health, safety and welfare - precious entities which they all swore to protect in the respective Oaths of Office.
And remember the 2001 gubernatorial campaign?
Both major candidates promised to remove the tolls from the Parkway (...and all three if you count Senator Franks). The only difference between the two was how long it was going to take. Schundler said he'd do it in a year, McGreevey said it would take seven years. How could we lose, right? Oh yeah, one of them could have been LYING.
NJ's Recent Governors
Codey - Legacy: Politics as usual (the corruption continues).
McGreevey - Legacy: Sex, lies, and more NJ jokes. And now a book! During his campaign, he promised to remove the tolls in 7 years. But soon after he was sworn in, he abruptly altered his promise and reneged on his toll plan. He also promised things like property tax relief, to reduce the state's debt burden, and to "end politics as usual", and we all know how that turned out (...OK, he did end politics as usual).
Whitman - Spent half a billion dollars to keep tolls in New Jersey. Legacy: She thought spending $488 million on 5 mph E-ZPass was the answer to the congestion nightmare, and she thought cheaters would pay for it. While E-ZPass moved cars a little faster than tokens, it burdened us with a debt nightmare. Not only didn't they catch enough cheaters to pay for it, catching them cost more than they collected! And now all we're left with is E-ZPass and higher debt, which makes it tougher to remove tolls.