One North Jersey legislator is seeking to end a proposed mileage tax on New Jersey drivers.
Assemblyman Parker Space (R-24) took aim at a pilot project developed by the Eastern Transportation Coalition which replaced the traditional gas tax with a mileage-based user fee program.
The North Jersey Assemblyman said he would introduced legislation that would prohibit that tax, and would bar the state from funding mileage-based tax studies or pilots.
“I definitely do not support eliminating gas and diesel-fueled cars and his actions will either be overturned in court or reversed by a new Governor,” Space said, who noted that the rules could be influenced by out-of-state bureaucrats.
Mileage-based Tax Study
The Eastern Transportation Coalition, made up of the departments of transportation from 17 states and Washington D.C., was able to conduct the pilot project using funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Launched in June 2022 and concluded that October, the program collected information and feedback on how drivers would be impacted by the new tax scheme. A black box recorded was used to track mileage under the program.
Move to EV’s
Space noted motor fuel taxes were responsible for funding most of the state’s transportation infrastructure construction and maintenance currently. But that a new program being proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy could change the way that dynamic worked.
In February 2023, Murphy signed an executive order requiring all new light duty truck and cars to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
Space acknowledged the growing demand for electric vehicles (EV), but said it was partly fueled by generous federal and state law incentives.
Ending Special Privileges
“Electric vehicle owners get tax credits, don’t pay sales tax on their vehicle purchases, and don’t contribute to the Transportation Trust Fund,” said Space. “It’s time to end taxpayer subsidies for EVs.”
There were 91,000 electric vehicles registered in the state as of December 2022, which was up from the 80,000-tally reported in June 2022. In total, the state has 6 million registered vehicles.
Space expressed concerns that liberal administrations would force all vehicle owners to eventually be forced to install black boxes into their vehicles, opening drivers up to privacy violations, even if their plan to ban gas and diesel-powered motor vehicles fail.
Space Sees Bigger Issue
“This issue is larger than taxes. The people are not being represented. The Murphy administration thinks executive orders can take the place of legislation,” Space said. “If they can get away with banning our cars, they will try to get away with implementing black boxes with a stroke of a pen.
The Assemblyman claimed that since Murphy took office in 2018, “we’ve seen how the laws and traditions of our representative republic have been ignored in New Jersey in the name of whatever emergency is foisted upon us.”
“It needs to stop.”