Question 2 is not controversial. There is no “Vote No on 2” coalition or campaign to speak of. And that’s because most New Jerseyans — like voters across the country — support the idea that money collected through gas taxes should be used for transportation purposes.
If Question 2 is passed, every penny collected through the state gas tax will go to the Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for roads, rails and bridges. If it isn’t passed, then nothing changes. The same 10.5 cents that is currently dedicated to the TTF continues to go the TTF, while the rest could be used for other purposes. It’s pretty straightforward.
“A vote for question number two is a vote for the gas tax. If you like the gas tax then you’re going to like number two,” she said in reference to the ballot question. “Flip it around — if you oppose the gas tax then you have to vote against number two because it requires them all to go back to the drawing board because they can’t borrow the money they need to make it work.”
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto questioned whether the lieutenant governor had read the ballot question, saying she “seems to have a complete and total misunderstanding of the ballot question, which is very troublesome.”
“The lieutenant governor doubles as the Secretary of State, who is in charge of our elections. Has our elections chief even read the ballot question?” he said in an emailed statement.
So with this in mind, we figured we’d put it into easily digestible terms. But before we do that, we have to address the key misunderstanding related to this ballot question. Here goes:
The gas tax increase has already been signed into law. It will go into effect on November 1. This ballot question won’t change that.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about what this initiative actually means. From Ballotpedia:
Question 2 would require all revenue from tax revenues on motor fuels to be deposited into the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The TTF was designed to fund the Department of Transportation and NJ Transit, which then use the revenue for transportation-related projects… Question 2 was intended to complement a gas tax increase. The amendment itself does not increase the gas tax. [emphasis theirs]
A YES vote means you are voting in support of an amendment to the state constitution to make sure that all gas tax revenue is dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for transportation projects.
A NO vote means you are voting in support of constitutionally dedicating only a portion of the gas tax to the Transportation Trust Fund. The rest could be diverted to the general fund.
If you like the state of New Jersey’s roads, rails and bridges, then by all means, vote no. But if you think New Jersey’s transportation network could use the money that the gas tax brings in, vote yes.