Relief from Record Gas Prices in NJ? Here’s What’s Been Proposed So Far
Yet another piece of legislation has been proposed to provide some relief for record-high gas prices, but none of the proposals has advanced.
The latest comes from Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and would give New Jersey drivers up to an $800 rebate. His proposal would also give a three-month fare holiday to New Jersey Transit riders.
Under Mukherji's bill, drivers who live in New Jersey, file a state tax return and have a non-commercial vehicle registered with the MVC could qualify for a rebate between $400 and $800. The estimated cost of the rebates is $1.5 million.
Murkherji also wants a three-month fare holiday for New Jersey Transit bus and train riders from June through August. That component would cost another $150 million.
The money to pay for the rebates and free rides would come from federal COVID relief funds, according to NJ.com.
At least two other bills have been introduced to provide varying degrees of relief from soaring gas prices.
Sen. Shirley Turner's (D-Mercer) bill would roll back a portion of the state gasoline tax for 60 days. Her bill also addresses the high cost of diesel fuel, by also cutting state taxes on those fill-ups.
Sen. Ed Durr (R-Gloucester) has proposed tax credits of between $250 and $500, using excess tax collections to pay for it. Gov. Phil Murphy did say he was "open" to that idea.
Then there is the issue of New Jersey lifting the ban on self-serve gas. Lobbyists for gasoline retailers have been pushing hard for self-serve, claiming it could save between 7 and 23-cents per gallon.
78 service stations will cut their prices on Friday to reflect that saving in the hopes of generating more public support for the measure.
However, both Gov. Murphy and legislative leaders are cool to the idea. Senate President Nick Scutari (D-Union) effectively killed the initiative after saying he would not post legislation to lift the ban.
As of Thursday, only Turner's gas tax rollback bill had been scheduled for a hearing. The remaining bills have not been scheduled for any action.