New Jersey State Senators Sam Thompson (R-12) and Peter J. Barnes, III (D-18) called a non-profit organization's report calling for sales and/or property tax increases in five New Jersey counties to generate new revenues to reduce operating deficits of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson ("PATH") rail system a "nonstarter."
The report, issued by the New York Citizens Budget Commission ("CBC"), recommends tax increases in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Union counties to generate up to $233 million for PATH deficit reduction.
"The New Jersey Legislature has been committed to finding ways to reduce our residents' tax burden," said Thompson. "The CBC's suggestion to increase sales or property taxes on millions of New Jersey residents to fund a service that few actually use is nonsensical."
The CBC report suggests that an increase in the effective property tax rate of 2.09 percent in the five counties would generate the sought after $233 million, costing the owner of a home assessed at the median value of $360,400 in Hudson County $180 per year in additional property taxes.
In a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the operator of the PATH system, the legislators urged the Authority to disregard the CBC's report.
"It's hard to imagine the Legislature supporting any effort to enact the tax increases recommended by the CBC," said Barnes. "Given the already high tolls that commuters utilizing Port Authority crossings pay, it would be in the best interest of everyone for the Port Authority to not waste resources considering a proposal that will not receive legislative approval."