Property Tax rise of at least $100 for Sussex County

The loss of $4.9 million in county-wide road resurfacing funds paid for by the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) would blow a hole in the county's budget and, unless offset by cuts to staff and programs, a property tax hike of at least $100 for the average county property tax payer.  And it goes up from there depending on what town you live in. 


An $8 million project on Route 23 that directly affects Hamburg and Wantage is among those TTF funded DOT projects that have been shut down.


Two projects in Andover Township and one in Andover Borough will cost property tax payers a half million dollars in all.  One of those projects is rock mitigation -- preventing boulders from crashing into automobiles using the road.  Byram is losing a million dollars that will have to come from the pockets of local property tax payers.  Branchville is losing $150,000.


Franklin Borough will lose two Main Street projects funded by the TTF worth over $320,000. Frankford loses $220,000.  Fredon loses $195,000.  Hampton loses $200,000.


Hardyston was to get several infrastructure projects worth $660,000 -- they're gone now.  Hopatcong loses $195,000.  Montague loses $310,000. Lafayette loses $330,000.  Newton loses $80,000.   Sussex Borough is losing $35,000 and Stanhope is losing its part of a $490,000 project.


Stillwater loses $195,000.  Sandyston loses its part of a $300,000 project.  Vernon loses $245,000,  And Wantage property taxpayers take an enormous hit with a loss of two projects worth $1.2 million -- including the repair of an aging bridge.


Since 1988, New Jersey has charged drivers just 14 1/2 cents a gallon of gasoline to maintain and improve its roads and bridges.  States like Pennsylvania need to charge drivers over 50 cents a gallon to maintain their roads and bridges.  Instead of adjusting its gas tax for inflation, New Jersey borrowed to repair its roads and bridges.  Because of this borrowing, the first 10 cents of any gas tax increase will be needed just to pay interest on that debt.


With the threat of a property tax explosion of as much as 40 percent hanging over New Jerseyeans heads, for months Senator Steve Oroho has been laboring in negotiations with the Democrat majority in the Legislature to find a way to fund the TTF and cut taxes.  Governor Chris Christie recently joined those negotiations, along with Republicans like Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick and Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon.


Fueled by media hype, those negotiations have reached an impasse and without a funding source, the Governor was forced to shut down the TTF last week.