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Let Gas Tax Pay For Turnpike, Parkway, Main Street And Your Street

So the Turnpike Authority is spending $670,000 just to study if they need a new headquarters, and if so, where to put it.  I don’t understand why if the Turnpike and Parkway are not growing, why do we need bigger and newer buildings to manage them from?  Actually, if we didn’t have a Turnpike Authority we wouldn’t need a modern new building, or any building in which to warehouse it’s army of bureaucrats.  I propose we eliminate the Turnpike Authority, knock down the tollbooths, lay off all the toll collectors, sell the Garden State Arts Center and roll the Turnpike and Parkway into the state Dept of Transportation. 

Tolls are a ridiculous way to pay for roads.  According to a study I found, toll costs are 37% of collections vs. 3% for the gas tax.  They constantly cause huge traffic backups and flared tempers where all the toll lanes have to merge back together.  It is also unfair that we toll payers have to pay with our gas taxes to maintain state roads in parts of the state not serviced by the Turnpike or Parkway, but users of those roads don’t contribute anything to the toll roads.

Of course to be truly fair the gas tax should pay for all roads, not just state roads.  People who only drive locally should not be subsidizing those who regularly drive greater distances.  So I would have all state, county and local roads paid for with the gas tax.  The state could reimburse counties and localities for their (legitimate and reasonable) road maintenance costs. This would help bring property taxes down.  The gas tax must be dedicated 100% for roads.  None of it should be diverted towards mass transit (which should be paid for by fares only) or for general state revenues.  And no other revenues should be used for roads.  Let everything cost what it costs.  That is the most efficient way to run an economy. 

If the gas tax has to increase, so be it.  I believe the savings in tolls and reduced property taxes would more than offset it.  And if we could root the waste, fraud and abuse out of the DOT………….well I can dream, can’t I?

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