Sure, New Jersey state politics are tricky. But policymakers in the Garden State are, for no good reason, creating a big problem for themselves and their constituents.
By not raising the state's gas tax, which is the second lowest in the nation and hasn't been increased since the late 1980s, their transportation funding is running on empty, meaning that Gov. Chris Christie's administration will soon have to discontinue work on various road projects. Although "essential" projects and certain main toll roads will be spared, the shutdown will result in layoffs and in the suspension of needed repairs on roads across the state.
In a nod to the urgent reality of the situation, both the New Jersey Senate and Assembly have proposed bills that would raise the state's gas tax from 14.5 cents to 37.5 cents per gallon to generate $2 billion per year for the Transportation Trust Fund. But in a nod to foolish politics, they've paired the gas tax increase with much larger cuts to other taxes.