New Jersey Voters Pass Gas Tax Referendum on Nov. 8

Wed November 30, 2016 - Northeast Edition #24

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) New Jersey's gas tax will be dedicated to transportation funding after voters supported Question 2 on Nov. 8, delivering a blow to Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who rallied against the referendum to protest a recent 23-cent-gallon increase in the tax.

Guadagno and radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM had mounted a campaign to beat the question, arguing lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie would be forced to reconsider the gas tax hike and scrap plans to borrow $12 billion over eight years.

The ballot question asked whether all the money from the state's recently raised gas tax should go to transportation. Guadagno bucked Christie, who supported dedicating the tax.

Opponents had argued that a no vote would choke off borrowing needed for the transportation trust fund, which would require legislators to reconsider the gas tax hike. Legislative leaders and the Christie administration said that was not true and that the borrowing authority already was authorized.

Had voters said no, gas tax revenue would have gone to the general fund and future lawmakers and governors could have used it to plug budget holes.