Friday, July 1st, 2016
County and Local Governments Urge State Leaders to Restore Transportation Funding
The New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM) and the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) are urging State leaders to reach a fair and equitable compromise on reauthorizing the insolvent Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) in the wake of Governor Chris Christie’s decision to declare a state of emergency and shut down all work funded by the TTF, which includes vital local road and bridge projects.
“The declared state of emergency is forcing county and municipal governments across the State to shut down operations on critical road and bridge projects that will jeopardize local businesses and economies and place the safety of residents at risk,” said NJSLOM Executive Director Michael Darcy.
County and municipal roads and bridges carry over 55% of the State’s overall traffic and depend on $190.0 million each year in Local Aid Allocations from the TTF to repair, replace, and rehabilitate functionally obsolete and structurally deficient bridges, and to pave, resurface, and construct local roads and highways.
“Our state leaders must act now to establish a stable, dependable, and long-term source of dedicated funding for the TTF, and must further restore Local Aid allocations to reduce the reliance on the collection of property taxes, promote economic growth and job development, and ensure a safe and reliable transportation network,” said NJAC Executive Director John Donnadio.
As county and municipal governments continue to struggle with delivering essential services in a cost effective manner, a declining ratable base, and unfunded State and federal mandates, failure to reauthorize the TTF and restore Local Aid allocations will force local property taxpayers to inequitably bear the burden of an expense that is not entirely a local one.