(1st LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Senator Jeff Van Drew (Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic) today issued the following statement on a recently released transportation report that proposes adding tolls to interstate highways, privatizing toll roads, creating mileage fees and increasing fees at the state Motor Vehicle Commission:
“The recent discussions about instituting a mileage tax, adding tolls on the federal highway system, privatizing toll roads and hiking fees at the MVC are undoubtedly infuriating for the state’s drivers.
“The last thing the people of this state need is more taxes, tolls and fees. These proposals should be absolute nonstarters. We also know that no private operator would take over our toll roads without a guaranteed profit so leasing the roadways would certainly mean even more costs borne by drivers. That should be completely out of the question.
“In addition, any proposal to hike costs on drivers would be particularly harmful to residents in my district. I represent an area with the lowest per capita income in the state and that consistently has among the highest unemployment and the highest rates of poverty in New Jersey. Families in our region are dealing with incredible challenges and struggling just to keep their heads above water. They can’t afford to shoulder an even greater financial burden.
“People have been taxed, tolled, feed, and charged to death. It has to stop. I, along with my Assembly colleagues – Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land – am completely opposed to the ideas contained in this plan.”