N.J. Toll Hikes…Again?

We want higher tolls. We want to pay sky-high prices to get into New York. We love our pricey property taxes. And surely, take well to getting walloped hard at the gas pumps and markets.

This past Tuesday, NJ Transportation Commissioner Diane Guttierrez-Scaccetti made this announcement at a budget committee hearing: “Yes, tolls will go up on January 1, yes – we’re indexing tolls.”

Oh, thank you, Diane, you make us New Jersians feel so very special. If we are not paying more for something than we did for the same thing last year (the toll increase is set to supposedly hit in 2024), we don’t feel worthy.

This increase would mark the fourth one to happen on the state’s three biggest toll roads in such a very short time; they were increased by 3% at the very beginning of last year and on the exact same date for the same amount on those three roads, January 1st, 2023.

The increase falls under a creative term called ‘indexing,’ which Diane referenced and means that toll increases are tied to an ‘economic indicator’ (whatever the hell these two words mean?) that doesn’t require the Turnpike Authority (which runs the Garden State Parkway) to hold separate public (and that ‘P’ word is very important here, sweeties) hearings.

Diane was asked at the meeting if the increase would be used to cover NJ’s commitment to fund its share of a proposed Hudson River rail tunnel, part of a larger Gateway project being jointly covered by our great state, New York and Amtrak. To this she said simply: 

”It not foreseen we will need a toll increase for Hudson Tunnel project.”

So, if indeed the toll hike comes, which now I heard it might not at all (all of this news just put a little douche chill into my day), one needs to ask: “So, Diane, what the hell do we need the increase of tolls for, if not that tunnel project.”

And I am still not convinced we all might not pay for that tunnel project even if we don’ get the toll increase.

Did you happen to know that when the Parkway was laid, its tolls were only supposed to last a few scant years to pay for its construction? In its usual way of leveling us with something and never taking it away, just like all the fiddle dee b.s. old FDR managed with Federal Income Tax during WWII that was never rescinded (not to get political on your ass with this silly little blog, you can see more info here, on how FDR managed some sure high wheelies in his chair over your Federal rights), the government of the State of NJ figured, hell if those dumb dumbs keep paying the toll, never questioning our statement that it was only temporary, why not just keep it in place?

And they did and they do.

And so it goes, my little droogs.

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