NJ Gas Tax, Round 2 #NoGasTax

Once again NJ Senators and Legislators (indeed, even the glorious leader Chris Christie) are after our hard-earned money (or whatever is left of it after we pay our inflated tax bills).

This time they have come to a tentative agreement regarding the gas tax: it will go up $0.23/gallon.  In exchange over the next two years the sales tax will drop from 7% to 6.875% and then to 6.625% in 2018.  That is, of course, assuming that we ever see those tax decreases.  Come January 1st 2017 you can expect  the standard “Oh wait, no way we can cut the sales tax, you’ll bankrupt the state” reasoning.  That’s why the gas tax would start October 20th (at the earliest) and the sales tax phase out wouldn’t start until next year: they know you won’t be able to stop them from ignoring that provision of the bill.  It would also lower the estate tax (big whoop), pension and retirement income would be taxed less (big whoop!), earned income credit would be increased (are you seeing a pattern here? big whoop.), and honorably discharged Veterans would see a tax decrease as well (I am moderately OK with this).

So let’s run the numbers for the only person I have data for: me.

My Average Miles Per Year (Thanks to FuelLog): 19,513.
My Average Miles Per Gallon (Again, Thanks to FuelLog): 20.
My Average Gallons Per Year: 19,513/20 = 975.65
My Average Cost Per Gallon (2016): $1.78
My Average Cost Per Year (2016): 975.65*1.78 = $1,736.66
My Average Cost Per Gallon (New Rate): $2.01
My Average Cost Per Year (New Rate): 975.65*2.01 = $1,961.06

Cost Increase: $224.40

My Bi-Monthly (Taxable) Expenses: $567.50 [AKA: My budget after paying all my bills]
My Yearly (Taxable) Expenses: 24*567.50 = $11,350
Current Spending Power (Deducting 7% taxes): 11350/1.07 = $10607.48
Current Spending Power (Deducting 6.875% taxes): 11350/1.06875 = $10,619.88
Difference: +$12.40

Net Change: $224.40-$12.40 = -$212 [I lose out on $212 per year]

Current Spending Power (Deducing 6.625% taxes): 11350/1.06625 = $10,644.78
Difference: +$37.30

Net Change: $224.40-$37.30 = $187.10 [I lose out on $187.10 per year].

These numbers don’t sound like a lot.  $188 to $212 isn’t a lot of money.  You know what it is?  One less thing I can do on my vacation.  Fewer gifts I can get for my friends at the holidays and their birthdays.  One less item I can get for myself.  One bill getting paid a little less than usual.  It’s all a snow ball effect.  It will all add up.

Chris Christie says the new plan is tax fairness in action.  My response is: what fairness do you see here? I don’t see any.  I see my taxes increasing drastically.

My other response is: Good Bye NJ.  I just can’t afford to stay here any longer.

Chris Christie keeps asking more and more for me as a public sector employee.  He asked that I pay more into my pension and healthcare: we reluctantly agreed because he promised the state would make a pension payment.  He balked on that.

Chris Christie says we’ll see tax fairness from this new plan.  He’s going to balk on that too.

The vote is tomorrow, Wednesday October 5th.

Make your voice heard.


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