NJ Senate Approves Bill To Explore Highway Revenue-Generating Opportunities

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TRENTON – The state Senate unanimously approved legislation to explore ways of capitalizing on the state’s major highways to generate new state revenue without raising taxes on Thursday, giving the bill final Legislative approval.

“It’s incumbent upon us to seek creative ways to boost revenue without burdening taxpayers,” said Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “Our current transportation infrastructure demands that we think outside the box to find new revenue sources to help meet our long-term needs.”

The bill (A-1279) would direct the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to study and prepare a report concerning potential opportunities for increasing current and generating new authority revenue by providing additional services, including, but not limited to, business, commercial, or retail services, at rest areas and service plazas along the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. The report would identify the types of services that may be offered, the types of businesses that may be involved, how the services may be managed, and the role of the authority in offering these new services.

The sponsors proposed the legislation in response to a recommendation in the report issued by the New Jersey Privatization Task Force in May of 2010, which indicated that there are numerous revenue generating opportunities for the Turnpike Authority to explore. If enacted, it would be effective immediately and the Turnpike Authority would have 6- 12 months to submit a report to the Governor and Legislature.

The bill will now go to the Governor’s desk for further consideration.

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