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May 24, 2010

Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco

With the Memorial Day weekend and the summer season fast approaching, Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco said New Jersey residents are finally catching a break with declining gasoline prices, but noted that Democrats seem intent on raining on their parade by hiking the state’s gas tax.

“For the past eight years our residents have had to endure 115 new or increased taxes from a Democrat-controlled Legislature and governor’s office. Now that they seem to be catching a bit of a break with falling prices at the pump, Assemblyman Cryan wants to negate that by saddling people with a gas tax hike,”

stated DiCicco.

            He noted that Democrats blasted Governor Christie last week for vetoing an income tax increase on the state’s highest income earners saying the governor’s action will hurt senior citizens. Democrats claim the one-shot, temporary measure is needed to restore property tax rebates to seniors this year only. Their plan offers no long-term, sustainable solution for the state’s chronic financial problems, including its property tax dilemma.

“The Democrats need to explain how a 24-cent hike in the gas tax is not going to hurt those same seniors,”

said DiCicco.

“The fact of the matter is Governor Christie understands the need to reform government across the board without resorting to tax hikes. Democrats, on the other hand, have proven their lack of creativity when it comes to governing. They have only one solution to the state’s fiscal problems – more taxes.

“They have no regard for the suffering they have inflicted on our citizens this decade with their unrelenting tax hikes,”

he continued.

“The fact that Democrats had the audacity to introduce another tax increase bill shows how out of touch they are with their constituents. What will it take for them to understand that raising taxes is the problem, not the solution?”

            According to the national Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday, the average price of regular gasoline dropped 9.25 cents over a two-week period. Two weeks ago, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, D-Union, introduced legislation (A-2718) that calls for increasing the state’s gas tax by eights cents per gallon per year for three years with adjustments after that based on the Consumer Price Index.

            DiCicco said a 24-cent increase in gas prices over the next three years would be devastating to residents, many of whom are still out of work and struggling to pay their mortgages and bills, as gas prices are forecast to rise again later this year.

            The Associated Press recently reported that the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects oil prices to average about $84 a barrel in the second half of the year, rising to $87 by the end of 2011. Currently, the price of crude is around $70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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