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Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Ciattarelli rails against proposed toll hikes

By Nikita Biryukov, February 25 2020 6:36 pm

Gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli railed against a proposed toll hike on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike that was announced at a Turnpike Authority board of commissioners meeting announced shortly before Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address Tuesday.

“This smacks of backroom deal-making. It will end when I am Governor.” Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman, said. “If Governor Murphy wants to raise tolls on the most over-taxed people in the nation, then he should make the case in an open, honest, and transparent way. Burying news of the toll hike while giving a budget address that calls for higher taxes is political choreography at its worst and a new low for an administration adverse to transparency.”

It’s unclear how much tolls would rise. The proposal was first reported by NJ Advance Media.

The possible hike was applauded by Utility and Transportation Contractors Association CEO Robert Briant, Jr.

“I applaud the Turnpike Authority for taking this much needed step. Investing in transportation infrastructure will improve mass transit reliability and relieve roadway congestion throughout the state. Furthermore, much needed roadway improvements will enhance roadway safety and will further support electric vehicles as a viable alternative to traditionally powered vehicles,” he said. “I encourage the Authority to consider an updated toll structure and thank them for their leadership.”

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