New Jersey's 23-cent gas tax hike, and its offsetting tax cuts in other areas, will help the state's current 2017 operating budget at the expense of raising budgetary pressure for 2018 and beyond, according to S&P Global Ratings.

In addition to raising the state's gas tax to 37 cents a gallon to raise roughly $1.2 billion a year for the state's Transportation Trust Fund, the legislation also cuts the state sales tax to 6.625% from 7% and phases out the estate tax over the next 15 months. State officials estimate a net gain of $120 million to the general fund in 2017, or 0.3% of budgeted operating funds' expenditures, and a net loss in 2018 of $400 million, according to an Oct. 17 S&P report. However, the state forecasts the annual net general fund loss will rise to $1.4 billion by 2024.

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