THE FUNDING OF ROADS IN NEW JERSEY: TAXES COLLECTED FROM ROAD USERS VERSUS EXPENDITURES ON ROADS
It has been asserted that New Jersey's drivers are not paying enough in taxes and fees each year to cover the amount spent on its roads and bridges, and that a large share of these expenses must come from other sources. For example, a report prepared in April 1995 for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign claimed that the net subsidy of drivers by taxpayers in New Jersey was more than $700 million in 1993. This assertion is used by some as a rationale for policy recommendations that motor fuel taxes and other road user taxes and fees be raised to make up for the shortfall. This report documents that the above assertion is wrong. In fact, the data show that the taxes and fees collected from New Jersey's road users are far in excess of the amounts spent on its roads. Instead of a deficit between road user receipts and expenditures, there is a significant surplus. Much of the discrepancy between the misperception of a shortfall and the reality of a surplus has to do with diverted and excluded funds, and the remainder with mistaken overestimations of some road expenditures. This paper reviews receipts and payments for New Jersey's roads by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in their "Highway Statistics" report. (This is the major source of published data submitted by New Jersey's Department of Transportation to the FHWA on the funding of roads in New Jersey). The analysis done here relies heavily on the FHWA for source material, and as a basis of comparison with the estimates developed. Results of the analysis indicate that the taxes and fees New Jersey's road users paid amounted to 142% of the amount spent on roads. In sum, New Jersey collected more from drivers in taxes and fees related to driving than it spent on roads.
- Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning Department.
American Petroleum Institute1220 L Street, NW
Washington, DC United States 20005-4070
- Dougher, R
- Publication Date: 1995-11
- Features: Figures; References; Tables;
- Pagination: 23 p.
- TRT Terms: Deficits; Expenditures; Fees; Finance; Financing; Producers surplus; Revenues; Roads; Taxes; Travelers
- Uncontrolled Terms: Surplus
- Geographic Terms: New Jersey
- Subject Areas: Economics; Finance; Highways; Society; I10: Economics and Administration;
- Accession Number: 00727054
- Record Type: Publication
- Report/Paper Numbers: Disc. Ppr. #083, Pub. No., R-61980
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Oct 9 1996 12:00AM