More than 100 construction workers who say their livelihoods depend on road and bridge projects converged on the Statehouse earlier this week to push for an increase in the gasoline tax.
The union workers formed an alliance with business groups and Hazel Gluck, transportation commissioner, to endorse a measure that would increase the gasoline tax from 8 cents to 13 cents a gallon to keep the Transportation Trust Fund alive.Supporters say the increase is necessary to feed the fund, which is running out of money. The fund was created in mid-1984 to build and repair roads. It spent $2 billion in just over two years and is expected to run dry later this year.
Of the current 8-cent tax, 2 1/2 cents goes into the fund and the rest is funneled into the state's general fund for non-transportation purposes.
The tax increase would raise $200 million a year. Gov. Thomas Kean supports it.