Chris Christie on Tuesday signed a bill that would raise the state gas tax from 8.25 cents to 8.65 cents per gallon, a move that would boost New Jersey businesses, boost the state economy and help to create jobs.
The measure would take effect immediately.
Christie’s administration estimates the increase would add $5.2 billion to the state’s economy.
The tax hike, which takes effect July 1, will raise the tax on gasoline by 2 cents per liter, a rate Christie said would help the state pay for $1.2 trillion in debt.
The gas tax is already a top tax in the country, and Christie said he will not raise it.
He also pledged that any money raised from the gas-tax increase would go to the State Department of Transportation and its transportation projects, as well as other transportation projects.
Christie said the gas increase would create 3,000 new jobs in the state.
The bill would also provide $200 million for the state to expand its wastewater treatment plant, which has had problems in recent years.
The New Jersey State Budget and Management Committee voted in June to boost the gas taxes from 8 cents per litre to 8 cents, which the governor said would give businesses an incentive to hire more people.
Christie also said the bill would bring $1 billion to New Jersey schools by 2021, and $2.5 billion to roads and bridges by 2021.
The plan is a major victory for Democrats, who were pushing the state legislature to approve the gas bill.
A separate measure to raise gas taxes across the country passed the House on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.