May 24, 2007
Assembly candidates John Amodeo and Vince Polstina sharply criticized Governor Corzine?s plan to annually increase tolls on the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway in order to lure private, foreign owned companies to buy them.
?First, the Democrats close the casinos and throw 36,000 people out of work, and now they want us to pay more money in tolls so he can sell off the two main roads which bring paying customers into Atlantic City,? said Amodeo. ?It is literally highway robbery.?
?Every time you turn around, the Democrats in Trenton are digging into our pockets,? said Polistina. ?Under this plan, local residents could be paying nearly twice as much in tolls while the State of New Jersey is also discouraging people from coming to patronize our regional economy. I guess shutting the casinos down and putting people out of work for only five days wasn?t good enough for them.?
Amodeo and Polistina referred to the example of Indiana, which recently leased the Indiana Toll Road (in budget maneuver similar Corzine?s plan) and increased tolls by 72 percent. Experts estimate that tolls on the Parkway would leap from $4.55 to $7.83 under Corzine?s plan.
?For five straight budgets, the Democrats have said there is a deficit,? said Amodeo. ?Each time, the Democrats said they need to increase taxes just once to fix it. After five years of tax increases, they now decided it was time for a toll increase. And there is still a deficit.?
Amodeo and Polistina pointed out how recent Democrat budgets have increased taxes on casinos and caused the casino shut down.
?The Democrats? budget plans have hurt Atlantic County every year. With gaming competition from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut, the Democrats? plan to increase tolls is just another stab in the back to our area,? said Polistina.
?Trenton just can?t get it right. Enough,? said Amodeo. ?We are tired of our residents, our workers, and our businesses being asked to sacrifice because the Trenton politicians don?t know how to manage taxpayers? money.?
?Higher tolls mean fewer tourists. Fewer tourists mean fewer jobs for our area. Fewer jobs mean hard times for our residents,? said Polistina. ?Atlantic County and its people are just an afterthought to Trenton, and it is time for a change.?