The top Republican on the State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee wants Gov. Phil Murphy to use his vast executive authority to stop a gas tax increase his administration announced on Friday.
“Governor Murphy has had no problem issuing executive orders during the current public health emergency to take extreme steps like shutting down the New Jersey economy and preventing voters from casting their ballots in person,” said State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Franklin), the Senate GOP budget officer. “He has changed statutory deadlines and unilaterally ordered numerous other changes without legislative approval.”
State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said that the increase was necessitated by a projected $335 million revenue drop as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s almost unbelievable for the governor to now suggest that preventing a gas tax increase when many families are in economic crisis is the one thing he can’t do by executive order,” Oroho said. “Considering his own executive actions kept people home and off the roads artificially depressing gas consumption, drivers shouldn’t be penalized.”
A law passed in 2016 allows the state to annually adjust the gas tax to meet the revenue target.