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Codey Wants to Privatize Toll Road
1010 WINS ^ | Jun 9, 2005 7:23 am US/Eastern

Posted on 06/09/2005 5:48:31 AM PDT by Calpernia

Gov. Richard J. Codey is working on a plan to bolster the state's Transportation Trust Fund with a temporary increase in the gasoline tax and additional money generated by privatizing the New Jersey Turnpike or Garden State Parkway, according to a published report.

The Record of Bergen County, citing an unnamed administration source, reported in Thursday's editions that the plan calls for a small gas tax increase to be pushed through shortly after the Nov. 8 election. The increase would be rescinded or phased out after the lease deal is signed and begins to generate cash.

The Transportation Trust Fund pays for highway building and mass transit construction work. It's expected to run out of money next year unless additional revenue is committed to it.

New Jersey's gasoline tax is now 14.5 cents per gallon, one of the lowest in the nation. It provides $605 million a year for the trust fund, but most of that money has to be used to pay down debt.

Transportation experts have recommended that the gas tax be increased by as much as 16 cents a gallon to keep the trust fund solvent. But legislators are skittish about any increase in an election year when every member of the state Assembly must go before the voters.

Toll road leasing has been tried elsewhere, notably in Chicago, where the 7.8-mile Chicago Skyway was leased recently to a private concern, generating a $1.83 billion upfront payment.

The administration source told The Record that the lease deal would involve only one of New Jersey's toll roads and could involve only parts of the highway.

``Lawyers are actively working on it,'' the source said.

But the lease proposal is certain to draw considerable opposition and is complicated by the fact that Codey will leave office after the November election. His successor, either Democrat Jon Corzine or Republican Doug Forrester, would have to carry through the deal. And if it were to falter, the ``temporary'' gasoline tax would likely have to stay in place.

``I just don't think we should be leasing the turnpike or the parkway,'' state Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, told the newspaper, noting that they are ``clean, safe and reliable'' and also very profitable.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey; US: New York
KEYWORDS: codey; dickcodey; endtolls; gastax; gsp; lease; newjersey; nj; njtpke; njturnpike; privatization; privatize; sell; taxandspenddemocrat; taxes; tollroads; tolls; turnpike

1 posted on 06/09/2005 5:48:31 AM PDT by Calpernia
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To: Calpernia
I'm all for privatizing toll roads. Although I confess nearly falling out of my chair when I saw a Democrat came up with the idea!

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
2 posted on 06/09/2005 5:51:14 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Calpernia

The short-timer wants to privatize the Turnpike. Sure, Gov, we'll get right on that for ya'!

What a maroon!


3 posted on 06/09/2005 5:53:51 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: Calpernia
temporary increase in the gasoline tax

Yes. When the Sun has exhausted all its nuclear fuel and burns out, we PROMISE this tax will be repealed.

On the other hand, let's sell naming rights to the exits, and the whole damn thing !!!

Please use Lincoln Financial Exit 4 from the Comcast Parkway South.

4 posted on 06/09/2005 6:25:56 AM PDT by AbeKrieger (Islam is the virus that causes al-Qaeda.)
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To: AbeKrieger

I always find it fascinating that people talk about how gas is cheaper in New Jersey than in New York, but never seem to realize that the only difference in the price is the tax.

Gas does not cost less in New Jersey. Gas is taxed less in New Jersey. There's a difference...


5 posted on 06/09/2005 7:30:56 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: goldstategop
I'm all for privatizing toll roads. Although I confess nearly falling out of my chair when I saw a Democrat came up with the idea!

Once both parties are essentially in agreement on most policies, it creates a void, which one or the other party will soon fill in their quest for power.

If the Republicans don't embrace these ideas, the other party will. Look for a lot more in the future.

If you were a Democratic strategist, (perish the thought) what issues would you think the Republicans are vulnerable on? Their issues (Democrats) have proved to be losers lately, and since they are interested in power, they will look for new issues in the areas abandoned by Republicans. And soon. The witch has already figured this out.

6 posted on 06/09/2005 7:39:16 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: gridlock
What a maroon!

Is that a critique on the idea? Perhaps something substantive about the issue would be more helpful.

7 posted on 06/09/2005 7:42:11 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: Calpernia

Like evevery other piece of legislation this year, this is to push all the dirty work onto Codey's reputation, and position Corzine to be the white knight by stopping the privatization after he's elected. And what stays, the new gas tax.

This cam eout now, after the primary, because Schundler lost.

Anyone remember Schundler's platform to remove the tolls from either the GSP or NJTurnpike?

Forrester's position on GSP tolls, he's still polling to find one.


8 posted on 06/09/2005 7:52:33 AM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: JerseyHighlander
Anyone remember Schundler's platform to remove the tolls from either the GSP or NJTurnpike?

He would have had them gone by 2003. McFruity ended up promising he would "look into removing GSP tolls", but quietly backpeddled about two years later.

10 posted on 06/09/2005 7:59:52 AM PDT by jmc813 (All I cared about was booze, stock cars and women.)
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To: JerseyHighlander
Anyone remember Schundler's platform to remove the tolls from either the GSP or NJTurnpike?

He would have had them gone by 2003. McFruity ended up promising he would "look into removing GSP tolls", but quietly backpeddled about two years later.

11 posted on 06/09/2005 7:59:58 AM PDT by jmc813 (All I cared about was booze, stock cars and women.)
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To: Protagoras
Is that a critique on the idea? Perhaps something substantive about the issue would be more helpful.

Why offer a substantive opinion on something as trivial as this proposal? Codey is a caretaker, a short-timer, a place-filler. He is not going to re-shape the Turnpike Authority between now and the time the clock runs out on his tenure. It is ridiculous for him to even discuss it.

If you want to discuss the merits of privitization, I guess we could do that. But the merits are irrelevant here. Codey does not have the political power to make it happen, or even to push things in a particular direction.

NJ is between Governors right now. If Codey thinks otherwise, he's delusional.

12 posted on 06/09/2005 10:53:12 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: gridlock
..yes, he's a deluded devil, but they've all had a hard on to raise the gas tax any way they can.

He may be used as a scapegoat to get this through.

N.j. poli-scum are exactly like sex offenders, they can't cured short of six feet of earth.

13 posted on 06/09/2005 11:02:00 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: gridlock
Why offer a substantive opinion on something as trivial as this proposal?

The chances of enactment may be small, but the concept is not trivial. That's why.

It is ridiculous for him to even discuss it.

Most of the time, important ideas are not discussed by elected officials out of fear of offending some portion of the electorate. They are cowards. This idea may have been raised for the wrong reason, but it is never ridiculous to discuss ideas.

If you want to discuss the merits of privitization, I guess we could do that.

It is really the only thing worth discussing.

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." And no, that's not a comment about you.

Let's strive for greatness even if we don't achieve.

14 posted on 06/09/2005 11:06:11 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: Protagoras
Well, to discuss the merits, I do not support privitization, because it will not really be a private entity. It is not possible to run something like the NJTP or the GSP without being intimately involved with the dozens of jurisdictions these roadways pass through. The entity would have to work with these jurisdictions hand-in-glove and would be so regulated that the governments would be, if effect, calling the shots. So what you would have is some kind of half-private, half governmental corporation that would be empowered with all sorts of special authorities. I just have no confidence that the State of New Jersey would be able to strike the right balance.

Not to mention that the primary motivation of 98% of land use decisions in New Jersey is graft. These folks cannot even replace a sidewalk without having to pay off everybody from the County Freeholders to the local cop. We are supposed to trust them to transfer an asset like the New Jersey Turnpike without forming a conga line of politicos who all have to be paid?

Maybe in an ideal world. But New Jersey is not an ideal world.

15 posted on 06/09/2005 11:25:41 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: Calpernia
a temporary increase in the gasoline tax

He's GOT to be kidding me. What kind of moron implements a gasoline tax hike NOW of all times? Incredible.

This state is such a cesspool.

16 posted on 06/09/2005 11:28:52 AM PDT by SunnyD1182
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To: gridlock

What you describe isn't privatization, so I see your point. But it would be a better situation than the government in a real privatization situation.


17 posted on 06/09/2005 11:31:40 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: Calpernia

This toll road push is going to spiral out of control. It's taken hold in Texas (yes, Texas), and I'm beginning to believe part of it is a push to get people into public transporation.


18 posted on 06/09/2005 11:33:43 AM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: Protagoras

Perhaps something substantive about the issue would be more helpful. >>

Maybe some people don't have all day to spend on the FR.


19 posted on 06/09/2005 5:50:32 PM PDT by Coleus (God doesn't like moderates, Rev 3:15-16)
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To: Coleus

Right, so nothing to contribute. So browse and read, not make empty posts.


20 posted on 06/09/2005 9:20:08 PM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: Protagoras
What's your solution to the toll road privatization plan?
21 posted on 06/09/2005 9:31:56 PM PDT by Coleus (God doesn't like moderates, Rev 3:15-16)
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To: goldstategop; gridlock; Calpernia
This is just a gimmick.  Gov. Florio sold a part of a highway in Bergen County to the NJ Turnpike to raise $400 million in order to pad the budget.  And now Codey wants to privatize the toll roads?  I'm wondering who will buy it.
 
Why doesn't Codey just get rid of the tolls altogether? 
 
Citizens Against Tolls

22 posted on 06/09/2005 9:44:06 PM PDT by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya! Kill babies, Save the Bears!!)
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To: Coleus
That is what worries me. There are a number of money laundering front businesses in NJ. Jersey is essentially a post office box for the Muwafaq Foundation.

Who wants to lease our roads? Do we as tax payers get a say? The Turnpike is an artery. Do we get held hostage?
23 posted on 06/09/2005 9:51:17 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia
The Turnpike is an artery. Do we get held hostage? >>

How right you are. And with EZ-Pass and cameras along the route, who exactly, would keep records of our travels?
24 posted on 06/09/2005 10:08:03 PM PDT by Coleus (Abortion and Euthanasia, Don't Democrats just kill ya! Kill babies, Save the Bears!!)
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To: Protagoras

Just what I thought, nothing.


25 posted on 06/17/2005 2:15:33 PM PDT by Coleus (God doesn't like moderates, Rev 3:15-16)
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To: gridlock

As a toll collector on the NJ Turnpike what worries us is what happens to the employees that work the road? What happens to our pensions?


26 posted on 09/12/2005 4:51:05 AM PDT by patriot330
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To: patriot330

Your pensions are a liablility of the Turnpike Authority and would be assumed by the state or the private authority. In any case, the liability would have to be funded as part of the deal.


27 posted on 09/12/2005 5:17:09 AM PDT by gridlock (IF YOU'RE NOT CATCHING FLAK, YOU'RE NOT OVER THE TARGET...)
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