Christie, top lawmakers reach deal on raising N.J. gas tax for transit funding

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (center)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (center)

Gas taxes in New Jersey would go up 23 cents per gallon under a deal reached between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic leaders.

Christie announced the eight-year deal that would also eliminate the estate tax and cut the sales tax Friday afternoon. He held a statehouse news conference with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

The deal to raise $2 billion a year still needs approval in both houses of the Legislature.

The estate tax would be phased out over the next year and a half, and the sales tax would be cut by 3/8th of a percentage point. The deal also includes tax credits for veterans and the working poor.

It would be the first gas tax hike since 1988.

Christie had ordered a shutdown of most transit projects earlier this summer.

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