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June 28, 2016

Yikes! New Jersey gas prices could jump by 23 cents a gallon on Friday

Hike will raise funds for road and bridge work

Attention road warriors and holiday vacationers in New Jersey: Fill your tanks before Friday.

New Jersey’s Democrat-led Assembly, working in tandem with Republican Gov. Chris Christie, voted early Tuesday – around 1 a.m. – to hike the gasoline tax by 23 cents a gallon. That's a whopping 158.6 percent increase.

The increase could possibly take effect as early as Friday – the start of a holiday weekend – when it seems the governor will sign the proposal.

The hike is meant to fund road and bridge work and it will also decrease the New Jersey sales tax from 7 percent to 6 percent. The loss in sales tax is estimated at $1.3 billion, about the same as the gas tax hike is expected to raise.

Related story: N.J. legislators propose 23-cent per gallon gas tax to fund transportation projects

The legislation would fund the transportation trust fund over the next eight years. The Democrat-led Senate plans to consider the proposal Thursday. Authority for borrowing for the trust fund ends July 1 without the new legislation.

Also part of the proposal: phasing out the state's estate tax, raising the retirement income tax threshold, boosting a tax credit for low-income filers and establishing a charitable tax deduction.

The increase would raise gasoline taxes to about 37.5 cents per gallon.

While the state’s fuel tax rate has consistently ranked in the range of 45th-48th lowest in the country, New Jersey would jump to the seventh-highest with the hike.