Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Rejected Toll Road Monetization Plan Surfaces

NJBIZdaily 7/17/2007

A proposal from an unnamed financial group offering to raise a lump sum of around $30 billion by leveraging future revenue from the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway appeared today on a Web site called Tollroadsnews.com. Gov. Jon Corzine’s office says it was an unsolicited offer that was rejected.

The Corzine administration has been studying ways to “monetize” toll roads and is expected to release a plan in November. Republicans, who have made a monetization plan an election campaign issue, are pressing the governor to release his plan before the November elections.

The rejected proposal, reportedly sent to the state in February, called for New Jersey to retain ownership of the toll roads and install a private-sector management company to run their operations, according to the Web site, which published excerpts and images of the documents with the name of the financial group blacked out. It would have raised $30 billion for the state in an upfront fee from investors who would be paid back, in part, by the future toll revenues, according to the proposal. The plan called for raising tolls—a prospect the Corzine administration has suggested is likely. - Scott Goldstein

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