N.J. reconsidering turnpike toll increase

A New Jersey Senate committee has backed a measure to roll back a Turnpike Authority toll increase.The hike was  approved in 2008 to pay for the now-cancelled rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The Senate Transportation Committee Thursday voted along party lines to rescind the average 90-cent toll increase that’s scheduled to take effect next year. Panel chairman, Democrat Nicholas Sacco said the revenue from the toll was earmarked specifically for the ARC tunnel.He said the Turnpike Authority should hold a hearing to consider Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to use it to help replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.”Once we say money is going somewhere, that’s where it should go. It’s a case of letting people have dialogue,” said Sacco. “If not, every time we do something in the state and earmark it, people will have no faith in what we’re going to do.”Republicans say the Turnpike Authority has already issued bonds based on the toll revenue and anything that jeopardizes the plan will end up costing the state more money.

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