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October 21, 2016

NJ Republican senators introduce legislation to undo state's gas tax increase

Two Republican state senators are doing whatever they can to repeal New Jersey's gas tax set to take effect Nov. 1.

Senators Kip Bateman and Mike Doherty introduced the repeal Thursday. They also released an online petition, signed by more than 11,500 people who are also hoping to see that the state doesn't go through with the increase. 

“Legislators who supported the gas tax increase see the momentum building behind our repeal effort, and they’re worried,” Bateman said. “They’re feeling the pressure and grumbling behind the scenes for us to stop. That’s a sign that our online petition effort is working and that our efforts on behalf of taxpayers to repeal the gas tax increase are not in vain.”

Gov. Chris Christie signed the plan into law on Oct. 14. It'll boost the state's gas tax by 23 cents per gallon in hopes of raising funds for New Jersey's transportation and infrastructure.

The opposing senators said that the increase will cost motorists $150 more per year in gas.

New Jersey once boasted one of the lowest gas taxes in the country, but as of next month, it'll have the seventh-highest.

A new poll from Farleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind found that Christie's approval ratings were at a record low, many of those surveyed said that the gas tax hike contributed to their distaste. 

Twenty-one percent of registered voters who participated in the survey approve of the governor, while 72 percent disapprove.

PublicMind also found that Christie's low-ranking affected their opinion of how New Jersey was doing as a whole. Twenty percent of those surveyed said that the state was headed "in the right direction."

“Apparently we’ve not yet found the floor for the governor’s approval among voters in the state," said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind. "The recent gas tax increase that the governor supported no doubt caused some in his party to turn against him, even though he sought to reduce taxes in other areas in order to offset the increase at the pump."