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New Jersey Gas-Tax Fix Seen as Credit Negative for State Budget

  • Moody’s maintains negative outlook on A2 state rating
  • State’s general fund to take $1 billion hit, credit rater says

The 23-cent a gallon gas-tax increase approved on Friday by New Jersey lawmakers may solve the state’s infrastructure crisis at the expense of its general operating budget, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The new gas-tax revenue will support $16 billion of road and rail projects over the next eight years. About $3.5 billion in transportation projects have been stalled since the summer after Governor Chris Christie halted all non-essential projects when the state’s transportation trust fund exhausted its proceeds.