New Jersey's gas tax to stay flat in 2020

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey's gas tax won't be going up in the coming year, the state Treasury announced Wednesday.

The rate will remain at 41.4 cents per gallon.

The announcement comes after the state conducted a review of fuel consumption that was required under a 2016 law that boosted the state's transportation trust fund to $2 billion a year from $1.6 billion. The law requires the state to keep a steady revenue stream for the fund, which means the tax could rise if consumption drops.

"We're pleased that fuel consumption levels, coupled with our realistic projections last year, have allowed us to avoid an increase in the gas tax rate for this year," Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said in a statement.

Last year, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's administration raised the rate by 4.3 cents to 41.4 cents.

The 2016 law that initially raised the gas tax by about a quarter and cut other taxes was signed by Republican Chris Christie.

The conservative Tax Foundation recently published 2019 data that showed New Jersey's gas tax ranks 11th highest in the nation, though it's lower than neighboring Pennsylvania and New York.

The state's transportation trust fund pays for road, bridge and other transportation capital projects around the state.