Christie Objects to Democrats’ New Gas Tax Hike

TRENTON (AP) -

A new Democratic plan to raise the state’s gas tax by 23 cents a gallon while cutting other taxes is “dead on arrival,” Gov. Chris Christie said Monday.

Christie, a Republican, shot down a proposal unveiled Friday by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

“I reviewed this weekend the Democrats’ latest plan to fund the Transportation Trust Fund through a massive gas tax hike that does not represent tax fairness to the residents of New Jersey,” Christie said in a statement. “Therefore, I cannot support it.”

The legislators’ plan called for raising the fuel tax to 37.5 cents a gallon from 14.5 cents while providing $2 billion a year for the transportation fund.

It also phases out the estate tax over 3 1/2 years and calls for increasing a tax credit for low-income families.

Christie and Prieto agreed last month to raising the gas tax but only by cutting the sales tax to 6 percent over nearly 2 years. The Assembly passed the plan, but Sweeney and other senators balked, failing to take up the bill.