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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? What are its sources of funding?

A.On October 14, 2016, L. 2016, c. 56 was enacted, amending the TTFA Act and authorizing the issuance of up to $12 billion in Transportation Program Bonds between FY 2017 and FY 2024. An accompanying piece of legislation, P.L. 2016, Chapter 57, increased the Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax. Beginning on November 1, 2016, the Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax increased: (i) on highway fuel and aviation fuel from 2.75% to 12.85% of gross receipts; (ii) on petroleum products other than highway fuel and aviation fuel from 2.75% to 7% of gross receipts; and (iii) on July 1, 2017, on diesel fuel from 4 cents per gallon to 8 cents per gallon. In accordance with Chapter 57, the Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax on highway fuel and on petroleum products other than highway fuel and aviation fuel are converted to a cents-per-gallon. For petroleum products, gross receipt taxes on highway fuel converts to a rate of 23 cents per gallon. The existing Motor Fuel Tax is 10.5 cents-per-gallon and the existing Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax imposed on gasoline, blended fuel that contains gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas and aviation fuel is 4 cents-per-gallon. As of November 1, 2016, the tax paid by the motorists at the pump was 37.5 cents per gallon. On October 1,2018 the tax paid by motorists increased by 4 cents to 41.5 cents per gallon, in accordance with provisions of the 2016 legislation authorizing either upward or downward adustments of the gas tax rate, contingent upon the state's achieving budgeted revenue targets.

All of the revenue derived from motor fuels taxes is now constitutionally dedicated to transportation purposes in accordance with the voter-approved amendment of Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 4 of the New Jersey State Constitution, which appeared on the November, 2016 ballot. In addition, the constitution continues to provide an annual dedication of no less than $200 million from the Sales and Use Tax.

Beyond the constitutional dedications, the Authority also receives annual revenue from contributions authorized by contracts entered into with the State’s toll road authorities. Statutory dedications from certain motor vehicle violations and heavy truck registrations are also authorized, however those amounts are subject to appropriation and have not been provided by the Legislature in several years.

The 2016 reauthorization legislation also authorized bonding of $12 billion in FY 2017- FY 2024, the debt service for which will be paid solely from constitutionally-dedicated revenues. These funding sources, as well as future pay-as-you-go appropriations from the revenue dedications, will satisfy the Authority’s fiscal needs during the eight year reauthorization period. 

The FY 2019 Appropriations Act recommended an appropriation to the TTFA of $1,348.2 million. As outlined below, this amount represents an increase of $36.7 million (3.0%) from the amount appropriated in the FY 2018 Appropriations Act ($1,311.5 million), and is sufficient to pay for the Authority’s FY 2019 projected debt service costs.

The FY 2018 and 2019 appropriations are detailed below:


FY 2018 Appropriations Act*  
FY 2019 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.


Beginning in FY 2017, annual revenues from the increased tax dedication are expected to significantly exceed the appropriations noted above. Those amounts are subject to appropriation by the Legislature. Appropriations that exceed the annual amount required for TTFA debt service payments may be used to pay expenses on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.  Alternatively, if the Authority’s appropriations and other revenues exceed the amount required to meet its statutory purposes in a given FY, those additional amounts may be deposited into the newly authorized Transportation Trust Fund Sub-account for Capital Reserves as a means of ensuring the adequacy of funding for future needs.

Q. Has the TTFA recently issued any debt other than traditional state contract debt?

A. On October 26, 2016, TTFA issued approximately $2.7 billion in Indirect GARVEE notes (2016 Series A) which were publicly offered and $.5 billion in Indirect GARVEE notes (2016 Series B) which Series B Notes evidenced a term loan made to the Authority. These resources were sufficient to pay for project expenses during FY 2017 through FY 2018. In July 2018 the Authority refunded $1.3 billion in 2016 Series A Indirect Garvee notes, generating approximately $124 million in NPV savings to the Authority.

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

A. The Transportation Trust Fund is the term commonly used to refer to the State’s Transportation Capital Program. The annual Capital Program is described in 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 is the Special Transportation Fund and why is it important?

A. The Special Transportation Fund is a separate fund maintained by the State Treasurer to which the Authority transfers available funds for deposit.  Monies deposited in the Special Transportation Fund may be used to fund payments to be made by or on behalf of the NJDOT for capital projects included in the annual Transportation Capital Program.


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 a portion of general Sales and Use Tax are dedicated to transportation purposes by the New Jersey 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 New Jersey State Constitution only directs that the dedicated revenues be appropriated for the purposes of “paying or financing the cost of planning, acquisition, engineering, construction, reconstruction, repair, and rehabilitation of the transportation system in the State.” There is no reference to the dedicated revenues flowing directly to the Authority.

Q. What is the current motor fuel tax rate?

A. As of November 1, 2016, the tax paid by the motorists at the pump was 37.5 cents per gallon. The cents-per-gallon tax on diesel was 33.4 cents as of January 1, 2017, and rose to its full rate of 44.2 cents as of July 1, 2017. On October 1, 2018 the tax paid by motorists increased by 4 cents per gallon as a result of a provision in the 2016 TTF Legislation allowing for either upward or downward adjustments in the motor fuel tax rate based on the State of New Jersey meeting budgeted revenue targets.

Q. How does the annual spending authority provided by the newly reauthorized TTF program compare to past years?

A. Unlike the TTF legislation enacted in 2012, P.L. 2016, Chapter 56 does not prescribe the exact size of the TTF spending authorization for any given FY.  Instead, annual program spending plans of various sizes may be recommended so long as the total amount does not exceed $16 billion over the eight year period.  Ultimately, the Legislature must determine the precise spending authorization for any given FY. The FY 2017 Appropriations Act authorized a TTF program totaling $1.6 billion, which matches the amounts that were authorized in annual Transportation Capital Plans from FY 2012 through FY 2016, including funds provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the Lincoln Tunnel Access Program (LTAP, e.g. Pulaski Skyway). A supplemental appropriation increased the FY 2017 program to $2 billion.

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 (referred to as “Prior Bonds” in L. 2012, c. 13) 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 authorization enacted in June 2012 (P.L. 2012, c. 13) and any bonds subsequently issued to refund those particular bonds.

The Transportation Program Bonds are issued as “state contract” debt backed by a new contract among the State Treasurer, the Commissioner of Transportation and the Authority. Certain revenues dedicated pursuant to the New Jersey State Constitution, including Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 4, consisting of a portion of an amount equivalent to the revenue derived from (i) the $0.105 per gallon Motor Fuels tax, (ii) the tax imposed on gross receipts from the sale of petroleum products and (iii) the sales tax on the sale of new motor vehicles (the “Constitutionally Dedicated Revenues”),  as described in N.J.S.A. 27:1B-20, upon appropriation by the Legislature, will be made available to the Authority for debt service payments on the Transportation Program Bonds pursuant to the state contract for such Transportation Program Bonds. The Transportation System Bonds continue to be secured by the existing contract among the State Treasurer, the Commissioner of Transportation and the Authority.  Certain statutorily dedicated NJTTFA revenues as described in N.J.S.A. 27:1B-20 and the Constitutionally Dedicated Revenues, upon appropriation by the Legislature, will be made available to the Authority for debt service payments on the Prior Bonds pursuant to the state contract for the Prior Bonds.
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 " pay-as-you-go" 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. Bond proceeds are added to "pay-as-you-go" revenue to cover total capital project costs for the year.


The 2016 TTF Re-authorization provided a new "pay-as-you-go" funding source with the establishment of the Transportation Trust Fund Sub-Account for Capital Reserves, funded from the excess of constitutionally dedicated Petroleum Products Gross Receipts tax revenue not needed to satisfy current year debt service obligations. It is anticipated that the Sub-Account for Capital Reserves will provide an estimated $1.3 billion in new "pay-as-you-go" funding thru fiscal year 2024 in support of statewide transportation capital projects.

Q. Where is the Authority in reference to its current bond cap?

A. The TTF reauthorization bill enacted in 2016 provided for an additional $12 billion in bonding capacity over the FY 2017 – FY 2024 period. Unlike the previous reauthorization bill initiated in FY 2012, the current program does not prescribe annual bonding limits by FY. Provision of an overall cap covering the entire reauthorization period provides greater flexibility in determining the timing and size of prospective bond issuances. In January 2019 the Authority issued $750 million in new state contract debt under the current authorization program.

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 FY 2017 through FY 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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