Christie’s Vow To Veto Any Tax Increase Looking Hollow After Massive Fare Hike

nj transit apAPP Editorial: Gov. Chris Christie’s vow to veto any tax increase that crosses his desk is looking a little hollower these days, particularly after he praised and signed off on NJ Transit’s massive fare increases this week — 25 percent for rail and commuter bus lines and 10 percent for local bus and light rail, and the elimination of off-peak discounts to boot. You have to squint real hard in dim light to view the fare hikes as anything other than a tax increase. The governor apparently believes it’s simply time for mass transit riders to pony up for the “shared sacrifice” that has become his mantra. Since tolls have gone up twice on the Turnpike and Parkway in recent years, Christie reasons, it’s only fair to sock it to bus and train riders. What the governor doesn’t seem to realize is that these are not mutually exclusive categories of New Jerseyans. The more you raise fares, the more you drive people — pardon the pun — back to New Jersey’s already congested roads.

NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein would have us believe that riders are not the only ones being asked to sacrifce. The agency will eliminate 200 jobs (out of more than 12,000 — a 1.67 percent decrease), freeze hiring, 401(k) contributions and nonessential spending, and reduce executive salaries by 5 percent.

That falls far short of Christie’s call for shared sacrifice. If teachers are being asked to accept a one-year wage freeze and contribute to their health care costs — as they should be — why not ask the same of all public employees in the state, including transit workers, police officers, corrections officers and others? His failure to insist that NJ Transit employees share in the pain will simply transfer that pain to beleaguered straphangers.

Sooner we hope, rather than later, Gov. Christie will recognize that for most folks, if it looks like a tax, smells like a tax and leaves a sour taste in the mouth, it’s probably a tax.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I strongly Darkeinu to start up a bus again to Manhattan at 7:40. Their first shot did not make it but let then try again and charge 125$ for a 10 pack (25$ cheaper than NJ Transit will be after the hike). The “oilam” will come swarming.

  2. But Christie is against gay marriage!!! The majority of the commentators on this board should be happy they voted for him even if their taxes go up 1000%!!!!

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