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FEDERAL GAS TAX HIKE

By SHERRI RUGGIERI

President Trump has proposed raising the federal gas tax by 25 cents.  The money would be used to fund infrastructure projects.  “Infrastructure,” refers to the “underlying structure” that supports the functioning of a society and includes “roads, bridges, dams, the water and sewer systems, railways and subways, airports, and harbors” (Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2018).  The issue is particularly important in New Jersey because of significant infrastructure damage left by Hurricane Sandy.

Not all politicians agree with Trump’s federal tax hike as a funding mechanism for essential infrastructure repairs and upgrades.  For example, New Jersey U.S. Senate Libertarian Party candidate Murray Sabrin, who is a Ramapo College finance professor, vehemently opposes adding another tax to the already overburdened American people.  According to Sabrin, “The average American family needs tax relief from the payroll tax, state and local taxes and the high cost of living, which is now accelerating because of the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing policies to ‘stimulate’ the economy after the Great Recession of a decade ago.”

In fact, Sabrin suggested elimination of the $.184 federal gasoline and 24.4 cents diesel fuel tax completely. He explained that the Interstate Highway System was built with funds authorized by the Federal Highway Act of 1956 (National Interstate and Defense Highways Act) and suggests transferring Defense Department funds to the Highway Trust Fund.  This would allow infrastructure projects to be funded without adding more taxes.

Sherri Ruggieri is the managing editor of Empire State News. A practicing attorney for over 20 years, Ms. Ruggieri is also chairperson of Edison Township’s Planning Board. Additionally, she has served as a college professor, with nearly a decade of experience in teaching law and political science courses.

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