When the clock strikes midnight, the days of inexpensive gas in New Jersey will end.
That’s because the gas tax increases by 23 cents on Tuesday, rising from 14.5 cents per gallon to 37.5 cents.
It’s the first hike since 1988. New Jersey, currently with the second lowest gas tax in the country, will become the sixth highest.
The current average price per gallon in New Jersey is $2.03 compared to the national average of $2.20, according to gasbuddy.com.
The tax increase will fund the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which ran out of money this summer, over eight years under a $16 billion program.
Gov. Chris Christie struck a deal — which also includes cuts to sales and estate taxes — with the Democratic-led state legislature on Sept. 30 to fund the TTF.
The fund is administered by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority (TTFA), an independent agency whose mission is to finance the cost of “planning, acquisition, engineering, construction, reconstruction, repair, resurfacing, and rehabilitation of the state’s transportation system.”
Voters will have the opportunity to answer a constitutional amendment question on the upcoming ballot whether the money from the gas tax should be used exclusively for transportation projects.
Fairleigh Dickinson poll director Krista Jenkins said 46 percent favor it, and 39 percent are opposed.
“There’s been so much talk about gas tax increases, it very well could be this is one of those issues that’s proving a little too complex,” she said. “So what we’re seeing here is people who may not be entirely aware of what the amendment would do.
So fill up your gas tank before the clock strikes midnight if you want to save money one last time.
WHYY/NewsWorks’ Phil Gregory contributed to this report.