As Governor Corzine presses ahead with his proposal to increase tolls 800 percent, he may soon be faced with an unexpected problem.
Last week Toms River passed a resolution strongly opposing the plan, and other towns all over Jersey could soon follow suit.
Bill Dressel, the Executive Director of the Jersey League of Municipalities, says his group does want to work with the Governor to improve the State’s fiscal situation, “but we’re not prepared at this point to sign off on this proposal – because I think this proposal is in a state of flux – I think it’s going to have to be changed…it’s difficult for us to be able to come up with a conclusion that this specific proposal is the right proposal at this point.”
He says he’s heard concerns from Mayors and other local leaders that raising tolls 800 percent would be unfairly burdensome for certain communities, and there are also fears about more trucks diverting off the Turnpike onto local roads – so “there may be a combination of revenue raisers that might have to be considered – but first and foremost, before we get into that discussion, we’ve got to see what the budget is going to bring on the 26th.”
The Governor has indicated he will present his proposed budget at the end of this month, and he says it could include budget cuts that might be very unpopular in certain circles.