Fulop’s ambitious transportation plan includes reimposing CBT surcharge

Jersey City mayor: It’s in everyone’s best interest to fix transportation — and that it’s only fair for corporations to play bigger part

Jersey City Mayor and declared gubernatorial candidate Steve Fulop on Monday morning laid out his ideas for transforming and improving transportation structures and systems in the state — including New Jersey Transit — the first segment of what he is calling his #FixNJ plan.

Fulop also offered the definitive way he intends to pay for it: By reimposing the 2.5% surcharge on the Corporate Business Tax.

“One of the things that we want to do is really fix the structural problems,” he said. “And, if you know that New Jersey Transit has a billion-dollar shortfall on the horizon, you need to find a billion dollars to solve for that. That’s just being realistic. And I think that’s what New Jersey residents deserve.”

The CBT surcharge, of course, has been a contentious issue.

In 2018, the New Jersey Legislature instated a temporary surtax of 2.5% on businesses (not including partnerships or S corporations), which raised the rate from 9% to 11.5% for businesses with income above $1 million. The surcharge will sunset at the end of the year.

Fulop, who if elected would take office in January 2026, said he would put it back — and he does not think it will have an adverse effect on the business community.

“It’s been in place for years now,” he said. “So, the corporate community in New Jersey had already become acclimated to it. To say that it needed to (sunset) because of some hardship on the corporate community just isn’t true.

“The economic situation in New Jersey improved over the last four years. You definitely see that trend. To say that the Corporate Business Tax had some adverse impact is just being disingenuous.

“If you want to fix New Jersey Transit, or transportation in New Jersey, and you think that it’s important to economic development, then the reality is, the only way you’re going to do that is by finding new dollars.”

Fulop said he will work with the Legislature to ensure the money earned from the surcharge will go entirely to transportation.

“Part of the legislative fix is having a dedicated funding in a lockbox situation that can’t be diverted,” he said. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to fix the transportation structures in New Jersey and dedicated funding is part of that.”

Reinstating the CBT surcharge to help NJ Transit was just one of eight transportation points Fulop presented.

Others include:

  • Expanding congestion pricing on motorists arriving from New York and dedicating revenue to PATH and Light Rail improvements;
  • Removing PATH from Port Authority control and integrating it into NJ Transit to improve service and reliability;
  • Reforming the Port Authority and leveraging the veto of board minutes more aggressively;
  • Implementing On Demand Micro Transit systems in the state’s 10 most densely populated areas;
  • Refocusing state funds away from highway expansion towards Light Rail and other mass transit projects;
  • Improving Raritan Valley Line service to include Midtown Direct and one-seat ride;
  • Modernizing NJ Transit stations and fast-tracking sale of underutilized property;
  • Commiting to full funding to complete construction of the Hudson-Essex Greenway and Camden County LINK;
  • Fixing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission with improved customer service, expanded hours and more online transitions.

“Everything that’s in there is attainable and achievable,” Fulop said. “And everything there is substantive and will have a meaningful impact on millions of people in New Jersey, whether it’s the changes to motor vehicles or improving transit, which alleviates congestion on the streets.”

Fulop has had great success on transportation issues in Jersey City on plans involving bikes, vans, ferries and more.

This success led to Fulop introducing detailed information on his plans. Monday’s announcement was one of eight that is planned. Future events will detail what his administration’s approach will be for transportation, housing policy, taxes, education, government reform, health & human services, public safety and sustainability.

Fulop said he’s eager to put all his plans out there — detailing how he handled each as mayor of Jersey City and how he’ll bring that knowledge to Trenton.

“After being the mayor for 10 years in one of the fastest-growing and most diverse cities in the country, I understand the balance between economic stability and the vibrancy and vulnerabilities of different communities — how to find the right balance between the corporate community and business investment and the people living there,” he said.

“I think that I have a track record that is as strong as anybody, if not stronger. I’m going to lean into that. And I’m going to be very clear on policy ideas on how to fix it going forward for two years.”

Some of that fix is going to come at the expense of the largest corporations, Fulop said.

“It’s about choices,” he said. “And my view is that we don’t want to burden the most vulnerable people. The largest corporations, which have done very well in New Jersey, should pull their share.”