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Despite the gas tax increase that went into effect Nov. 1, New Jersey voters had the last word on Election Day when they approved Amendment 2 to protect all of the revenue the state hopes to collect from the 23-cent gas tax increase.

Amendment 2 maintains that all gas tax revenue is sent to the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, and effectively puts gas and diesel fuel tax revenues outside the reach of future governors or legislators who might want to tap into those assets and assign them elsewhere.

Used to repair and maintain roadways, bridges and mass transit, the Transportation Trust Fund has seen its funding dwindle from $350 million a decade ago to $33 million this year, leaving thousands of projects on hold.

“The importance of this measure is that it would double the portion” of transportation moneys flowing to municipalities and counties, said Mike Cerra, assistant director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, which endorsed it.

Faced with the need to make essential repairs to roads and bridges, Cerra said municipalities are often forced to raise local taxes to pay for them. A Yes vote on the question would be “sound public policy, sound fiscal policy and give property tax relief.”

The tax fuel referendum had the support of Governor Chris Christie and most lawmakers, but Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno was not one of them. She urged voters to vote No on the fuel tax ballot question because, she said, it would authorize the state to borrow up to $12 billion against anticipated revenue for transportation infrastructure.

If voters had rejected Amendment 2, that would have no bearing on the fuel tax increase. Their vote secures the money solely for the purpose for which it’s intended. And that sure looks like a smart move.