December 8, 2014
RE: Senate Transportation Committee Takes Testimony from League Leaders on
Trust Fund Renewal
Today in Trenton, League President, Mayor Brian Wahler of Piscataway, and League Past President and Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) Review Committee Chair, Mayor Tim McDonough of Hope, presented the municipal perspective on the transportation capital funding crisis to the Senate Transportation Committee, Chaired by Senator Nicholas Sacco. You can access a copy of the testimony on the League’s website at http://www.njslom.org/letters/TTS_2014-1208.html.
The Mayors noted that “The State Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that New Jersey's municipalities are responsible for 64 percent (28,539 center line road miles) of our roads. County governments are responsible for another 22 percent (6,649 center line road miles). Together, local governments are responsible for 39 percent of our bridges. Local roadways and bridges carry about 55 percent of all traffic.
Leaving out of the equation the amounts dedicated to NJ Transit, if remaining aid was distributed on the basis of traffic carried, in FY 2013 Local Aid (at 55%) would have been $361.6 million. If it were based on road mileage, municipalities (at 64%) would have received $420.8 million, and counties (at 22%) would have gotten $144.7 million. Total Local Aid would, then, have been $565.5 million. Even if only based on our respective responsibility for bridges, at 39%, Local Aid would have been $256.4 million.
“The need for investments in local roads and bridges has not decreased since 1985,” noted Mayors Wahler and McDonough. “No one has suggested that it will decrease in the future. So given the extent of the local infrastructure, and given the need for strong and steady investment in that infrastructure, we will call for assurances that Local Aid will represent, at a minimum, $350 million. And we will call for adjustments in funding, to account for the effects of inflation.”
Please contact your State Senator and the Members of the Assembly that represent you and your constituents. Please urge them to act on this matter, before transportation funding disappears, early next year.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.