ASSEMBLY, No. 1087

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  TIMOTHY J. EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JOSEPH A. LAGANA

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JOHN S. WISNIEWSKI

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides that toll revenue generated from PANYNJ bridges shall not exceed cost of maintenance, operation, and debt service of those bridges.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

 


An Act concerning Port Authority of New York and New Jersey toll revenue and supplementing P.L.1950, c.192 (C.32:1-154.1 et seq.) and amending R.S.32:1-128.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  The port authority shall establish a separate special fund to be known as the “Port Authority Bridge Fund.”

     b.    The bridge fund shall consist of all revenue, tolls, and other charges received by the port authority for the use of vehicular crossings that are bridges, and all other moneys appropriated, credited, or transferred thereto from any other fund or source pursuant to law.

     c.    Moneys in the bridge fund shall be kept separate and shall not be commingled with any other moneys in the custody of the port authority.

     d.    The moneys in the bridge fund shall be expended only for the costs of maintaining and operating the port authority bridges, and the payment of, with interest upon, and amortization of bonds and other securities or obligations issued for the purposes of those bridges.

     e.    Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, the comptroller of the State of New York and the comptroller of the State of New Jersey and their legally authorized representatives are hereby authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the bridge fund.

 

     2.    (New section)  a. The tolls and other charges prescribed for the use of vehicular crossings that are bridges during each calendar year shall not exceed the costs of maintaining and operating such bridges, and the payment of, with interest upon, and amortization of bonds and other securities or obligations issued for the purposes of such bridges, and incurred by the port authority during such calendar year.  All such tolls and other charges for the use of port authority bridges shall be deposited and credited to the “Port Authority Bridge Fund” established under subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    In any instance in which the amount of funds in the port authority bridge fund exceeds 105 percent of the annual costs of maintaining and operating port authority bridges, and the payment of, with interest upon, and amortization of bonds and other securities or obligations issued for the purposes of such bridges, the tolls and other charges imposed for the use of port authority bridges shall be reduced during subsequent calendar years so as to reduce the funds in the bridge fund below 105 percent of the annual port authority bridge costs.

 

     3.    R.S.32:1-128 is amended to read as follows:

     32:1-128.  The port authority is hereby authorized to make and enforce such rules and regulations and , subject to the provisions of sections 1 and 2 of P.L.   , c.   (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), to establish, levy and collect such tolls and other charges in connection with any vehicular bridges and tunnels which it may now or hereafter be authorized to own, construct, operate or control (including the said Holland Tunnel and the said Midtown Hudson Tunnel), as it may deem necessary, proper or desirable, which said tolls and charges shall be [at least] sufficient to meet the expenses of the construction, operation and maintenance thereof, and to provide for the payment of, with interest upon, and the amortization and retirement of bonds or other securities or obligations issued or incurred for bridge or tunnel purposes. There shall be allocated to the cost of the construction, operation and maintenance of such bridges and tunnels, such proportion of the general expenses of the port authority as it shall deem properly chargeable thereto.

     The moneys in the General Reserve Fund of the port authority (authorized by chapter 5 of the laws of New Jersey, 1931, as amended, and chapter 48 of the laws of New York, 1931, as amended) may be pledged in whole or in part by the port authority as security for or applied by it to the repayment with interest of any moneys which it may raise upon bonds or other securities or obligations issued or incurred from time to time for any of the purposes of this act or secured in whole or in part by the pledge of the revenues of the port authority from any bridge or tunnel or both so issued or incurred and so secured; and the moneys in said General Reserve Fund may be applied by the port authority to the fulfillment of any other undertakings which it may assume to or for the benefit of the holders of any such bonds, securities or other obligations.

     Subject to prior liens and pledges (and to the obligation of the port authority to apply revenues to the maintenance of its General Reserve Fund in the amount prescribed by the said statutes authorizing said fund), the revenues of the port authority from facilities established, constructed, acquired or effectuated through the issuance or sale of bonds of the port authority secured by a pledge of its General Reserve Fund may be pledged in whole or in part as security for or applied by it to the repayment with interest of any moneys which it may raise upon bonds or other securities or obligations issued or incurred from time to time for any of the purposes of this act or secured in whole or in part by the pledge of the revenues of the port authority from any bridge or tunnel or both so issued or incurred and so secured; and said revenues may be applied by the port authority to the fulfillment of any other undertakings which it may assume to or for the benefit of the holders of such bonds, securities or other obligations.

     In the event that at any time the balance of moneys theretofore paid into the General Reserve Fund and not applied therefrom shall exceed an amount equal to 1/10 of the par value of all bonds legal for investment, as defined and limited in the said statutes authorizing said fund, issued by the port authority and currently outstanding at such time, by reason of the retirement of bonds or other securities or obligations issued or incurred from time to time for any of the purposes of this act or secured in whole or in part by the pledge of the revenues of the port authority from any bridge or tunnel or both so issued or incurred and so secured, the par value of which had theretofore been included in the computation of said 1/10, then the port authority may pledge or apply such excess for and only for the purposes for which it is authorized by the said statutes authorizing said fund to pledge the moneys in the General Reserve Fund, and such pledge may be made in advance of the time when such excess may occur.

     No tolls or other charges authorized by this section shall hereafter be instituted or increased until after a public hearing thereon shall have been held, at which persons affected thereby shall be given adequate opportunity to be heard, and notice whereof shall be published by the port authority in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation within the port district not less than 10 days prior to the convening of such hearing.  Such notice shall state with particularity the charge or charges proposed to be instituted or increased and shall set forth in tabular form a comparison of the existing charges with the charges which would result from such institution or increase; and such tabulation shall also include a similar comparison of any decreases or abolitions of charges which are concomitantly proposed as part of a single proposal for restructuring of rates.  Such notice shall also set forth an estimate of the overall increase or decrease in annual revenues to the port authority resulting from the proposed institution, increase, decrease or abolition of charges, or combination thereof forming items of a single proposal; the purpose or purposes to which any such overall increase is to be applied, and, if there be more than one such purpose, the specific allocation of such funds between or among them.

(cf: P.L.1977, c.108, s.1)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately, but shall remain inoperative until the enactment into law of legislation substantially similar to P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) by the State of New York, but if such legislation shall have been enacted prior to the enactment of this act, this act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the Port Authority Bridge Fund (“bridge fund”), which shall be a separate, special fund consisting of all revenue, tolls, and other charges collected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (“port authority”) for the use of its bridges.

     The tolls and other charges established by the port authority for the use of its bridges shall not exceed the costs of maintaining and operating those bridges, and the payment of debt service attributable to those bridges.  In the event that the amount of money in the bridge fund exceeds 105 percent of the annual maintenance, operation, and debt service expense of the bridge, the bridge toll shall be reduced during subsequent calendar years.