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New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority  

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The Transportation Trust Fund provides funding for New Jersey's transportation system

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the current financing capacity of the Transportation Trust Fund Authority?

A. The Transportation Trust Fund Authority (TTFA) was provided with financing capacity as a result of the reauthorization legislation enacted in June 2012 which expired June 20, 2016. The state constitution authorized minimum annual appropriations for the Motor Fuels Tax (amount equivalent to the revenue derived from the 10.5 cents tax per gallon, but not less than $483 million per fisacl year), the Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax ($200 million minimum, per fiscal year), and the Sales and Use Tax ($200 million minimum, per fiscal year). The Legislature may appropriate more than the minumums noted above, however. Also subject to appropriation are several statutory dedications of revenue from toll road authorities, motor vehicle registrations, and the diesel tax.

In Fiscal Year 2016, the Legislature appropriated to the TTFA $1,195.9 million, which represented a decrease of $64.2 million from the Fiscal Year 2015 appropriation of $1,260.1 million, which was sufficient to pay for the Authority's debt service costs.

The Fiscal Year 2016 and 2017 appropriations are detailed below:

FY 2016 Appropriations Act*  
FY 2017 Appropriations Act*
Motor Fuels Tax
Petroleum Gross Receipts Tax
Sales and Use Tax
Toll Road Authority Contributions

* Amounts shown are per Appropriations Act and does not reflect any lapses or carry forwards.

The 2012 reauthorization legislation authorized bonding of $3.458 millon in Fiscal Years 2013-2016, which matched the total program spending authorization. The Authority also carried forward unused bond cap authority of $326 million from prior fiscal years which could be issued at the Authority's discretion to address cash needs during the reauthorization period and which was utilized in Fiscal Year 2015.

The Authority had sufficient revenue and bonding capacity to support $3.7 billion of program spending from Fiscal Year 2014 through Fiscal Year 2016. The Port Authority of NY and NJ provided an additional $1.1 billion in resources to help support a Transportation Capital Program totaling $4.8 billion during that span.

Maximum bond maturities continue to be 31 years.


Q. What is the difference between the Transportation Trust Fund and the Transportation Trust Fund Authority (TTFA)?

A. The Transportation Trust Fund is also referred to as the Special Transportation Fund or the Transportation Capital Program. It is the project list that is submitted to the Legislature each year by the Commissioner of Transportation on March 1 and is approved in the Appropriation Act by June 30 of each year. The project list is the spending or contract authority that allows the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and New Jersey Transit Corporation to advance capital projects up to a specified limit. The Transportation Trust Fund Authority (TTFA) is an independent agency that actually finances the cash disbursements to contractors as they occur for Transportation Trust Fund projects. The TTFA uses appropriated revenues and bond proceeds to finance the disbursements. The TTFA is a financing agency only with no involvement in the selection of capital projects.

Q. What are the sources of revenue for the Authority?

The TTFA is supported by the revenue equivalent of 10.5 cents on the motor fuels tax, the petroleum products gross receipts tax, a portion of the general sales tax, contributions from the New Jersey Toll Road authorities, and historically, although not since 2001, "good driver" registration surcharges and heavy truck fees.

Q. Which revenues are dedicated for transportation capital purposes in the State Constitution and which are not?
A. The motor fuels tax, petroleum products gross receipts tax and general sales tax revenues are dedicated to transportation capital by the State Constitution. The good driver registration surcharge fee, heavy truck fees and toll road authority contributions are dedicated by statute only.

Q. What is the difference between constitutional dedication and statutory dedication?
A. The Constitutional dedication is binding on the Legislature. However, the statutory dedication is not. The Legislature can use the annual Appropriation Act to override funding references in general statutes.

Q. Do the constitutionally dedicated revenues flow directly for transportation capital purposes or do they still need to be appropriated?
A. All revenues in New Jersey must be appropriated annually by the Legislature, even those dedicated by the State Constitution.

Q. Is it possible for the constitutionally dedicated revenues to be appropriated for a purpose other than the Transportation Trust Fund Authority?
A. Yes, the State Constitution only directs dedicated revenues for the purpose of "paying or financing the cost of planning, acquisition, engineering, construction, reconstruction, repair, resurfacing, and rehabilitation of the transportation system in the State." There is no reference to the dedicated revenues flowing directly to the Authority. Of the estimated $516 million currently collected from the 10.5 cents on motor fuel consumption, a minimum of $483 million is specifically directed to the Authority via statute. In fiscal years 2015 and 2016, $516 million was appropriated to the TTF.

Q. What is the current motor fuel tax rate? Does the Authority receive all motor fuel revenues? If not, where do they go?

A. The current tax rate on gasoline, which has not changed since 1989, is 10.5 cents per gallon and 13.5 cents on diesel. The State Constitution dedicates the revenue equivalent of 10.5 cents per gallon on both the gasoline and diesel tax for transportation purposes. Revenues from the remaining 3 cents of the diesel tax are dedicated by statute only under the heavy truck fee category implemented in 1984. As noted above, $516 million was appropriated to the TTF in both FY15 and FY16.

Q. What percentage of the annual Transportation Trust Fund Capital Program is currently being spent on Authority debt service?

A. None. The Transportation Trust Fund Capital Program is a spending authorization for NJDOT/NJ TRANSIT capital projects. There is no line item for Authority debt service in the NJDOT/NJ TRANSIT capital program. Debt service is a function of the Transportation Trust Fund Authority which is separate and distinct from the NJDOT/NJ TRANSIT capital program. Debt service payments are funded through the State's annual capital appropriation to the Authority, not through the TTF Capital Program's spending authorization.

Q. The TTFA reauthorization statute enacted in June, 2012 authorized two types of bonds, namely Transportation System Bonds and Transportation Program Bonds. What is the difference between the two?
A. "Transportation System Bonds refers to bonds issued pursuant to authorizations previously provided in P.L. 1995, c. 108 and P.L. 2006, c.3, as well as any bonds issued to refund those “prior” bonds.  Transportation Program Bonds refers to bonds issued pursuant to the most recent authorization enacted in June, 2012 (P.L. 2012, c. 13) and any bonds subsequently issued to refund those particular bonds.

In fiscal 2013, the first year of the current re-authorization, the NJTTFA issued $1,247,000,000 of new money bonds consisting of $326,255,000 in 2012 Series A Transportation System Bonds and $920,745,000 in 2012 Series AA Transportation Program Bonds. The 2012 Series A Bonds used substantially all of the remaining new money bond authorization available for Transportation System Bonds (i.e., the “prior“ bonds) under the NJTTFA Act. The 2012 Series AA Bonds represented the first issuance of Transportation Program Bonds authorized under the Act. The proceeds of each issuance will be used to support transportation projects within the State of New Jersey.

In fiscal 2014 the NJTTFA issued $849,200,000 in new money 2013 Series AA Transportation Program Bonds. In fiscal year 2015, the NJTTFA issued $764,055,000 in 2014 Series AA Transportation Program Bonds and $297,500,000 in 2014 Series BB Transportation Program Notes, utilizing the remaining $326 million in bond cap carry forward from the prior authorization. In addition, the NJTTFA re-marketed a total of $297,500,000 of 2009 Series C and 2009 Series D variable rate bonds into fixed rate Transportation System bonds and terminated the associated Lines of Credit on those bonds. In the most recent fiscal year 2016, the NJTTFA issued the remaining $626,800,000 in bonding authority from the current reauthorization with the 2015 Series AA bond.

The Transportation Program Bonds will be issued as “state contract” debt backed by a new contract between the State Treasurer and the Authority. This contract pledges that constitutionally-dedicated revenues appropriated by the Legislature will be made available to the Authority for debt service payments on its Transportation Program Bonds. The Transportation System Bonds continue to be secured by the existing contract between the State Treasurer and the Authority which pledges that any dedicated NJTTFA revenues appropriated by the Legislature to the payment of such bonds will be made available to the Authority for debt service payments."


Q. How does the Authority go about selecting capital projects to finance?
A. The Authority has no role in selecting capital projects. NJDOT and NJ TRANSIT select the projects and submit them to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the Legislature for approval.

Q. What is the current " pay-as-you-go" percentage and how is that term defined?
A. The TTF's "pay-as-you-go" component is equal to the appropriation revenue received by the Authority in a given year adjusted for any lapses, investment income, and Build America Bonds tax credits less the debt service payment for that same year. The difference represents the current year revenue that is available to pay capital project costs. "Pay-as-you-go" may also be derived from the State's contract with toll road authorities, subject to appropriations by the Legislature. Bond proceeds are added to "pay-as-you-go" revenue to cover total capital project costs for the year.

Q. Where is the Authority in reference to its current bond cap?
A. As noted earlier, the Authority relied on $326 million in bond cap carryforward from prior fiscal years to pay bills in FY 2014. The 2012 Series A bond used all of the remaining bond cap authority for the "old" TTFA Transportation System bonds. Since the law authorized the sale of $1,247.0 million of new bonds in FY 2013, and since the TTFA used only $920 million of that on the 2012 Series AA Transportation Program bond in FY 2013, the remaining $326 million was available. The TTFA did not utilize any of its bond cap carryforward in its fiscal 2014 financing (2013 Series AA Transportation Program bond in the amount of $849.2 million). As anticipated, the TTFA utilized the remaining $326 million in bond cap carryforward in FY 2015 with the issuance of the 2014 Series AA Transportation program bond and 2014 Series BB Transportation Program Notes.
Q. What is the maximum maturity of TTFA bonds?
A. 31 years.

Q. When does the current capital program authorization expire?
A. P.L. 2016 Chapter 56, authorizes a $16 billion capital program from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2024, which ends on June 30, 2024.
Q. When does the Authority expire?
A. Never. All reference to Authority expiration dates were removed from the TTFA statute in the 1995 Legislative Reauthorization.

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