Both houses of the New Jersey State legislature are proposing increases in fuel taxes to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which will run out of money except to service debt on June 30. For the record, I am opposed to any tax increases. Period. As the author of Tax Free 2000, a blueprint on how to create a tax-free society, I do not support any tax increases. I make clear in my book the only noncoercive–and therefore legitimate– method for the government to raise revenue is a user fee. (Whether government should “own” the roads or any other asset is a separate issue.) The gas tax is in reality a user fee. Currently, motorists and truckers pay for using highways, bridges, etc., with a nominal per gallon fee. All well and good.
The current proposal increases taxes primarily at the wholesale level instead of increasing the gas “tax” at the pump. This is “dishonest”, because the end user, the motorist, should see clearly how much the cost of using roads, etc., has increased, and thus demand more accountability from elected officials and their appointees to use their dollars efficiently.
As far as the other components of the compromise bill go, phasing out the estate tax is a long overdue tax cut as well as raising the exemption to $100,000 of a couple’s retirement income. Allowing charitable deductions will be allowed, but should apply to all tax exempt organizations not just the ones favored by the politicians.
Increasing the earned income tax credit is unnecessary. The best way to “help” low income families and individuals is to reduce their taxes and make New Jersey more attractive for businesses to expand and relocate, thus increasing employment opportunities for all New Jerseyans. That means eliminating unnecessary regulations and reducing business taxes. And what about eliminating the inheritance tax? Why should the state government benefit from the death of an individual who wants to leave money to relatives besides children?
Governor Christie should negotiate-hard–with legislative leaders to reduce taxes, reduce taxes, reduce taxes, and replenish the TTF so motorists will not have to endure the teeth rattling rides on many roads and bridges throughout the state. Now is the time for the Governor to show leadership on these issues.