Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Jon Corzine Might Be Right About Toll Increases

Much has been made about New Jersey Governor John Corzine's plan to raise funds by increasing tolls on roads such as the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. While it's not desirable to have to pay more to drive somewhere, he does have two things going for him in this plan:

1. Tolls are the "perfect tax" as it's said. You're only taxed if you use the road, and the funds raised go to fixing those same roads. So unlike an income tax, for example, all of your taxes go back to help you as user of the road.

2. In the next few years, cars will undoubtedly be getting more efficient as hybrids grow in popularity. This results in less gas used, and, thus, lower amounts of money spent on gas and taxes accompanied with gas. So while gas taxes go down, the tolls will help supplement them, and you'll also be paying less in gas. In theory.

So before dismissing this plan altogether it may be worth consideration if we really do want to fix the aging roadways in NJ. Otherwise there's no comfortable, fun, or magical solution for this situation. Might be time to bite the bullet.

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