Retailers happy that New Jersey gas tax remains steady for 2020

David Madden
September 02, 2019 - 4:00 am

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NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Word that New Jersey’s gasoline tax will not go up this fall is being welcomed by retailers across the state. But they say there’s a way to bring the cost down a tad.

Former Gov. Chris Christie took New Jersey’s gas tax from one of the lowest in America to one of the highest in a deal to bail out the Transportation Trust Fund three years ago. His successor, Phil Murphy, added four cents a gallon last October. 

This year, it stays at 41 cents. 

That’s good news for Sal Risalvato, head of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association.

“Each time the tax goes up, it makes us less competitive with our neighboring states,” he told KYW Newsradio, “and we have been able to show the amount of gasoline volume that has crossed over the border."

He estimates past increases have seen 415 million gallons a year in sales go to Delaware and New York state. He doesn’t have numbers for Pennsylvania. 

Risalvato has an idea to bring some of those customers back.

“If New Jersey were to permit self-serve gasoline and we could give our customers a choice, then we would be able to lower the price of a gallon of gas in New Jersey overnight by at least 10 cents a gallon, maybe by as much as 23 cents a gallon,” he added.

New Jersey is the only state in the nation where drivers cannot pump for themselves. But this idea’s been floated before and has gotten nowhere.