New Jersey State Senators Steve Oroho (R) and Paul Sarlo (D) crafted a bi-partisan compromise to save the Transportation Trust Fund. They jointly proposed to increase the gas tax and lower the estate tax.
Governor Chris Christie didn’t think that the tax cuts for the rich reflected in the Oroho/Sarlo proposal were enough to sufficiently burnish his image with right wing national Republicans. He put his foot down. The Democratic leadership of the State Senate and Assembly tripped over it.
House speaker Vince Prieto and Senate President Steve Sweeney joined Christie to crow about their TTF funding “compromise”. The additional tax cuts they announced effectively pile onto the financial disaster already affecting our cash strapped state. In return for getting a tax source needed to fund transportation infrastructure repairs, our leaders created a billion dollar hole in the state’s budget.
Christie triumphed! Moreover, when it comes time to pay the price for the financial folly, it will be Democrats who are on the hook. They will pay a political price for increasing future taxes to pay for the direct and indirect costs resulting from their capitulation.