Proposed toll increases (5/1/08)
CAT expresses concern over Governor Corzine's push to sell state assets (7/23/07).
CAT Officials air concerns about Gov. Corzine's plan to lease the Toll Roads (6/19/07).
Fiery fatal crash at the Egg Harbor Parkway (5/30/07).
CAT News & History
CAT Star Ledger Ad:
Tues. 3/7/06, Wed. 3/8/06, Sun. 3/12/06, Thur. 3/16/06, Fri. 3/17/06, Sun. 3/19/06
PLEASE HELP US FIGHT TOLLS! This ad cost $2,500 of which $2,000 came from a benefactor with the remainder from officers of CAT. Your financial help is urgently needed to overcome the scourge of expensive toll collecting, of which there are over 80 cost areas in addition to pay-to-play, patronage and the bureaucratic salaries of the almost 700 people needed to collect tolls! Contributions, which are not tax deductible, may be sent to CAT, P.O. Box 497, Manasquan, NJ, 08736.
CANDIDATES AIR VIEWS
at CAT Toll Forum (5/24/05)
Gubernatorial candidates and Legislative representatives had a chance to air their views on tolls at CAT's Forum on Tuesday, May 24, at the Hampton Inn, Woodbridge.
Gubernatorial candidates who attended, addressed the audience, and fielded questions:
Todd Caligure, Republican candidate
Jeff Pawlowski, Libertarian candidate
Bret Schundler, Republican candidate
(Robert Schroeder, Republican candidate, who was scheduled to attend, sent a representative.)
Also attending the forum were:
Assemblyman Guy Gregg (R; Morris County)
Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan (D; Middlesex County)
Declan O'Scanlon, a Republican candidate for State Assembly
Governor McGreevey raises taxes on CAT. (12/15/02)
As part of McGreevey's new corporate New Jersey tax law for the year 2002, which includes us (!), we were reminded by mail, along with all corporations, that 25% of our tax liability is due on Monday, 12/16/02! It gets worse! Under the old law the minimum tax, which included us, was $200, payable by April 15th.
Under the new law the minimum tax is now $500 AND, as mentioned above, 25% is due immediately ($125) AND the balance of $375 is due on April 15th PLUS $125 of the new estimated tax for a total of $500 due on April 15th!
I'm told that although corporations knew an increase was coming there was no advanced, detailed publicity - typical of publishing bad news in the paper on a light readership day and accountants are getting overwhelmed with calls! I'm sure a lot of organizations are scrambling to avoid a penalty fee! (Our federal tax remains zero!)
This new law could wipe out organizations such as ours, or in other words, tax us into oblivion! When they passed the new law they no doubt never thought about organizations such as ours. ...Or maybe they did!
PRESS RELEASE (4/8/02)
Anti-toll group to file at U.S. Supreme Court
(Pollution to End Tolls?)
Manasquan, N.J. - (April 8, 2002) New Jersey based Citizens Against Tolls, Inc. (CAT), today announced its intent to file an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief with the United States Supreme Court in an action against tolling authorities in four states. The action includes the Garden State Parkway. The U.S. Supreme Court case (Docket #01-1421) seeks review of an original New York Federal District Court action against all tolling authorities in Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The Supreme Court suit is aimed at ending the thousands of tons of toxic tailpipe emissions at toll barriers in violation of the Clean Air Act.
Spring Break (02/20/02)
If you thought we would fade away after the 2001 election, think again. While a couple of our key members are on spring break right now, we are gearing up to continue our fight. Our web site got a major overhaul, including 12 new pages. And we hope to arrange a meeting with Governor McGreevey in the near future. Stay tuned.
McGreevey defeats Schundler (11/6/01)
Dear CAT Supporters,
We were certainly sad to see Bret Schundler lose the election this past Tuesday. He was our most ardent supporter with regards to removing the tolls on the Garden State Parkway. It is very interesting to note however that a Star Ledger editorial on Wednesday made clear that the Republicans won on the removal of tolls 79% to 21%. Obviously however, that issue was outweighed in the mind of many voters by the other issues such as abortion, gun control and charter schools that they couldn't bring themselves to support. As a result, although Bret lost, the voters made it clear that they want tolls removed.
CAT will continue to keep toll removal in the forefront of the legislative agenda by continued pressure on the decision makers in New Jersey. Your ongoing support will be crucial to these efforts. We are very optimistic that we can achieve the goals established when we first formed.
The CAT leadership team will be meeting next week for the purposes of planning the agenda for our continued push to eliminate tolls. We will be contacting you shortly with a summary of those plans and how you can help in our joint efforts. We welcome your input into this process of planning, so please don't hesitate to email any of the officers of CAT with your suggestions.
We will continue to work very, very hard to support those legislators, regardless of party, who support our goals, and even harder to remove from office those who do not.
So, CAT would ask all our supporters to view Bret's defeat, not as a defeat of our efforts and objectives, but as an opportunity to renew our commitment to our goal. Because as Eric Hoffer, a U.S. philosopher once wrote in Reflections on the Human Condition: "It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities."
Joe DeGraw, Vice President, Citizens Against Tolls
Anti-Toll Caravan (6/23/01)
CAT's Anti-Toll Caravan was a huge success - our largest rally ever. A line of cars, adorned with yellow ribbons and signs, met at the Monmouth rest area and drove up the Parkway to Exit 105 where we had a rally attended by Gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler.
Spring Meetings and Events:
CAT Reps. meet with DiFrancesco Staff, April 5, 2001: Ray Neveil, John Millett, and Phyllis Elston met with six members of acting Governor DiFrancesco's staff at the State House to present our financial plan to eliminate Parkway tolls. The presentation was well received and they promised to review it in detail.
Leisure Village Meeting, March 28, 2001: CAT's meeting at Leisure Village West in Manchester was attended by over 60 enthusiastic supporters on Wednesday, March 28th. Our presentation was well received by those present who were all eager for quick removal of Parkway tolls. Many people questioned why we were not seeking the removal of all tolls! Senators Connors and Ciesla were invited to present their views on tolls, but did not attend nor did they send a representative.
Arbor Glen Meeting, March 26, 2001: CAT had a very productive session at the Arbor Glen Retirement Community in Bridgewater. A number of excellent questions were raised regarding toll costs and the E-ZPass mess. One individual ordered a banner to advertise CAT, which will be placed at his business site. We plan to order similar banners and distribute them as funds allow. Another suggestion was to create small button size stickers to further advertise CAT, and someone volunteered to provide samples. In addition, a number of petition signatures were collected.
Waretown Public Meeting (3/14/01)
Our March 14 meeting in Waretown was a smashing success, attended by over 100 people as far as Totowa and Bayonne to the north, and Petersburg (Cape May County) to the south. The meeting was highlighted by the signing of a pledge by Gubernatorial Candidate Bret Schundler promising that if elected he would appoint a bipartisan committee to present within 60 days of its establishment, a plan to eliminate tolls on the Garden State Parkway with 120 days!
Emphasized was the importance of writing to legislators and newspapers expressing displeasure over the costs, problems and hazards of toll collecting, and asking for support of CAT's financial plan to eliminate tolls. There was a spirited and positive question and answer session. The group was given a report on the status of talks with the Assembly Transportation Committee on the discussions to eliminate tolls.
Gubernatorial candidates Donald DiFrancesco and James McGreevey were invited to the meeting, but were unable to attend. Representatives from Jim McGreevey's staff have asked to meet with representatives from CAT in Woodbridge on March 19 to review CAT's financial plan to eliminate GSP tolls.
Saddle Brook Public Meeting (1/8/01)
The CAT meeting on Monday Jan. 8th was a resounding success. In spite of the stormy weather there were over 60 in attendance! Progress to date in eliminating Parkway tolls was discussed followed by an illustration of how various revenue sources can be used to fund Parkway operations without costly toll collecting. The Trenton meeting with members of the Assembly Transportation Committee, to be held later this month, was also reviewed.
Emphasis was placed on an intensive petition signing drive with the objective of having every one of the existing 13,000 plus signees getting at least 3 or 4 more. The letter writing campaign will also be intensified. All supporters are asked to write to their legislators again requesting their participation in eliminating tolls in addition to writing to Assemblyman DeCroce and Senator Ciesla. Also write to your newspapers requesting their support! Your thousands of voices will be heard.
Mayor Bret Schundler of Jersey City gave an energizing presentation in support of the elimination of tolls and explained how the job can be done. His stressed that removing the tolls would be one of those rare tax cuts that would actually increase our quality of life, while the state treasury would only give up one dollar for every two dollars NJ citizens get back. He said money on the scale of toll removal is allocated to programs all the time in the state budget, but there was no program that would benefit more people than removing tolls. He added that the Parkway is a unique road where the rent revenues from highway services would actually pay for road maintenance - something that the "free" roads don't even have.
Assemblywoman Weinberg had representatives at the meeting indicating her support of our position.
Following the presentations there was a spirited Q&A session which included many additional suggestions for eliminating Parkway tolls.
All in all, in spite of the weather it was a great meeting well covered by the media. We thank them for their extensive coverage especially Ch 2, 4, 5, 7, 12 and our good friends at NJ101.5 FM!
CAT appears before Assembly Transportation Committee (12/7/00)
CAT leaders appeared before the Assembly Transportation Committee in Trenton on Dec. 7th in Trenton. The meeting went well and there was broad media coverage. Our plan to eliminate tolls without a gas tax hike was presented, and Assemblyman Alex DeCroce requested that we set up a date in January to discuss the matter in more detail.
Boardwalk Petition Rally, Summer 2000
Thanks to the dozens of volunteers who made our August 19 petition rally a big success. Mayor Schundler of Jersey City was there to lend his support and collect signatures, and several news papers and TV crews were there to cover the event. The weather was great, a banner plane with our message made several passes, and the T-shirts were a huge hit. Hundreds of names were added at the main booth in just a few hours, plus hundreds more continue to be mailed in from those who set up in other towns. Even the online petition received a big boost from all the publicity.
We hope to continue the petition drive at shopping centers and malls for the next few weeks in anticipation of our trip to Trenton in the near future. So please, we need your help for just a little longer. Take a few blank petitions with you to work, the store, or anywhere you think there are people who are Tired of Tolls. Plans to deliver the names to Trenton are in the works, so watch the web site for details.
Note - E-ZPass had their own banner planes flying up and down the shore this day. E-ZPass dollars hard at work!
August Petition Rally rescheduled for Aug. 19.
Heavy rains and local street flooding forced us to postpone our August 12 rally. C.A.T. thanks the many volunteers who braved the elements for our worthy cause, and apologizes for any inconvenience. There was a bright spot, however. Even though the boardwalk was nearly empty and we did not even set up a table, by the time we packed it in, two of our younger members collected 7 pages of signatures! If this is any reflection of the percent of people who hate tolls, we should do exceptionally well on "a beach day".
July meeting gains crucial ally (7/11/00).
Citizens Against Tolls took a big step toward Parkway toll removal at their July 11 meeting in Iselin. Featured speaker Mayor Bret Schundler of Jersey City gave a particularly inspiring speech stating that we can do this, citing the safety, economic, and emotional benefits of toll removal. Strategy was mapped out for getting people involved, organizing petition drives, publicizing this web site, and presenting the signatures to the Governor this fall. The meeting was well attended and included representatives from organizations such as the National Motorists Association, NoMoreTolls, and TollsGot2Go. Several newspaper and TV crews covered the event.
We're on our way. Join us!
February meeting report (2/26/00).
50 enthusiastic people attended the February 26 meeting. Not as much as last month, but not bad considering we received much less publicity this time. Topics of discussion included asking if we should stop the movement, to which we almost had a riot. It is unanimous, WE HATE TOLLS!
There were a couple of computer gurus in attendance who will help with our e-publicity, another volunteered to handle print publicity, and a graphic artist will help with the logo's. These areas will help greatly with getting our message out. The bumper stickers were also a popular item, and the $1 donations will help pay for ads.
The next meeting is tentatively set for late March or early April, so stay tuned. Also, the first group of petition signatures will finally be presented to Governor Whitman in early April, so you might want to plan a trip to Trenton to join the fun.
January 2000 meeting takes a big next step.
Over 80 people showed up at the January meeting - over 3 times the number at the last meeting. Not bad considering how little publicity we got over the holidays. All were passionate about the toll situation.
The first batch of petition signatures was totaled - over 2000 and counting* (...half online, half by mail and fax). And we've only just begun to fight. (*plus another 300 online signatures poured in the week following the meeting!)
In attendance was Kevin McKeown, Executive Director of NoMoreTolls.org, a Washington DC based group to file a federal lawsuit to remove all U.S. tollbooths. Mr. McKeown was very knowledgeable and informative on the toll situation, and C.A.T. hopes to work closely with him in the future. Please visit his web site (...but don't forget to come back and sign our petition).
Financial, Administrative, and publicity committees were formed now that we are large enough. And we took in enough donations to get bumper stickers (...watch the web site for details on how to get yours). CAT is growing like wildfire - just read some of the hundreds of petition comments.
We can make a difference - please watch for our next meeting and try to attend (and bring a friend) to help plan the strategy for eliminating Parkway tolls!
(12/99) We have a new domain name! Feel the power! It should be a lot easier to remember. We hope radio stations and newspapers will be more apt to use it. Also, we plan to use it on bumper stickers and other publicity.
Toll Free movement picking up steam in December.
Citizens Against Tolls has been noticed by the media and has gotten some good publicity this past week. First, Ray was quoted and the web site was listed in Paul Mulshine's column in the Star Ledger on 12/2/99, and again in the Sunday (12/5/99) Ledger. NJ101.5 has also dedicated several talk shows to E-ZPass and the toll hikes, and has given the C.A.T web address several times on the air.
The December 4th meeting grew to about 25 very enthusiastic people. One of the items discussed was getting a catch domain name for our web site so we can print it on bumper stickers, etc. Also discussed was ways to advertise our cause in newspapers. One of the attendees took on the job of forming C.A.T. into a non-profit organization.
November meeting gains momentum (11/13/99)
The November 13 meeting was a good start. I was encouraged by the passion shown by those who attended. Everyone seemed ready and willing to pound the pavement for the cause. All volunteered to write letters to politicians, newspapers, radio stations, and various groups that might be able to help.
Our main goal is to increase publicity of the group before the next meeting. And time is of the essence. NJ is speeding the installation of E-ZPass as not to give people a chance to voice their opinion about it.
C.A.T. gets first public exposure (11/5/99)
Ray Neveil's letter to the editor runs in the Asbury Park Press. It lists our web site, post office box, and our next meeting date and location. Online petition signatures begin coming in.
C.A.T. has first meeting (10/9/99)
Citizens Against Tolls is born as the result of frustration over the high cost of collecting Garden State Parkway tolls and that the New Jersey highway Authority and legislators have ignored or blunted any effort to correct the problems which agonized motorists for years. The first C.A.T. newsletter, The Tollhouse is printed, and this web site starts construction.