TRENTON - Drivers in New Jersey would pay at least 50 percent more in highway tolls, starting in 2010, under Gov. Corzine's new plan to raise up to $38 billion to pay down debt and fix roads and bridges.
In his annual State of the State speech yesterday, Corzine finally hung a price tag on his proposal to bail out the state by hiking tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, and Atlantic City Expressway.
His plan was remarkable for its scope.
While other money-starved and tax-averse state politicians have spun off assets such as roads to raise money, no one has come close to trying to raise $38 billion in one shot.
The Democratic governor said the toll hikes would be controversial and a form of "tough love." Indeed, Republican State Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr., the new leader of the GOP in the upper chamber, immediately ripped the plan as a hidden tax hike.