BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Gov. Chris Christie and the state legislature's showdown over approval of a proposed 23 cents per gallon gas tax has hit home in Bernards Township, where two road projects underway with state transportation funds were halted this week.
The Annin Road and Canterbury Way road improvements projects have been delayed due to the ongoing statewide shutdown of projects funded by the Transportation Trust Fund, according to an update sent out by Bernards Township. "Updates will be provided accordingly," the notification added.
Christie ordered a halt to all state-funded transportation construction projects throughout New Jersey two weeks ago, after the state Senate refused to approve the tax, shutting down $3.5 billion in projects.
Immediately following Christie's announcement on the moratorium, Bernards Township's engineer, Tom Timko, said in an email on July 5 that at that time, the township had not received any notice from the Department of Transportation about the state funding.
The stalemate between Gov. Chris Christie and state legislators over the beleaguered Transportation Trust Fund continued this week as a compromise proposal cobbled together by lawmakers was rejected by Christie on Monday.
That plan would have increased the state’s gas tax 23 cents per gallon; in return, residents would receive a series of tax cuts/breaks demanded by Christie -- elimination of the state’s estate tax, an increase in the ceiling for retirement income taxes; an increase in the Earned Income Tax for the working poor and new tax breaks for commuters and veterans.
But, Christie said the plan was a no go, saying it was “dead on arrival.”
An earlier plan also rejected by Christie included those cuts, as well as a three-year reduction in the state income tax from 7 to 6 percent.
Municipalities throughout the state typically make an effort to get road projects completed in summer or fall before inclement winter weather shuts down road construction for the year.