Last week, the question at the end of my first subject was: Would you prefer a mileage tax or an increase on the gasoline tax? The majority of the few who responded stated that they would prefer an increase on the tax on gasoline.

The next question is: Would you prefer a 10-cent increase or a 25-cent increase? Before you answer that question, you should know the amount of money it costs to fix our roads and bridges. The Ocean City bridge cost several hundreds of millions of dollars. Look at how many similar type of bridges we have in our state. What is the cost to fix a road, let alone the thousands of roads we have in our state?

We have also learned that the federal government is responsible for the upkeep of some bridges and the federal roads. Without the proper information as to who would be responsible for upkeep of the bridges and roads, it would be very difficult to name a set amount of money necessary to replenish the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund.

For your information, the state of New Jersey, in 2014, sold more than 4.7 billion gallons of gasoline. If the tax was to be at 10 cents, using the same amount sold as in 2014, the state would derive almost $500 million a year. If the tax was to be at 25 cents, the money derived from the tax would be over $1 billion. So, which one will it be?

The more I have learned about this topic and knowing what is currently being requested for bridges and roads, on a local level, the tax would have to be 25 cents to raise the funds needed to update our roads and bridges.

The New Jersey Legislature has a reputation of dropping one of our taxes for others that provide more revenue. It had been mentioned previously that consideration be given to ending the estate and inheritance taxes. We are only one of three states that have both of those taxes. Eliminating them would then make it more palatable for the Legislature to institute a 25-cent additional gasoline tax.

It must be written in stone that the money from the new tax on gasoline will be deposited in the Transportation Trust Fund and may only be used for the roads and bridges of New Jersey.

Medical education

Last week, this column discussed the possibility of a medical education program in Atlantic City. I was told it was a ridiculous idea. What would it be like to have a medical education program in the center of Atlantic City? Obviously, I wasn’t too far off in bringing this subject to the attention of those considering a medical and educational program in our area.

The president of Rowan University Ali Houshmand stated that he would like to see a medical education program in the Atlantic City area. He noted there would be approximately 50 students who would be involved in the program.

It is known that AtlantiCare for years has considered a medical education program. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a Rowan University medical program in concert with a medical education program sponsored by Atlantic Care? And a few blocks away, you would find Stockton’s Island Campus and its educational program.

Who would’ve ever thought it would be possible to have not just one but two outstanding educational institutions locating a portion of their programs in Atlantic City? Stockton is already here, as is AtlantiCare. Rowan University said they would like to come here. Let’s make it easy for them and get the medical education program moving at AtlantiCare.

Can you just imagine what the naysayers will say if this becomes reality? It can and should happen. Let’s show them what Atlantic City truly is, a resurging community for one and all.

Merchants delighted

The growing number of events at the Atlantic City Convention Center and the Boardwalk Hall is delighting the merchants who have decried the fact that they have seen a drop in their business because of the lack of activity in the past years at both the Convention Center abd Boardwalk Hall. Events in the past month have brought the busiest January in many years.

This was due to the fact that several top performers brought thousands of people the world-famous Boardwalk Hall and more meetings and conventions were held in the Atlantic City Convention Center. They strolled Atlantic City’s Boardwalk and took advantage of the outlet stores adjacent to the Convention Center. They brought smiles to the faces of the merchants as their cash registers were ringing.

We will see both the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall having shows that will bring 50,000 people to Atlantic City this weekend. The annual Progressive Atlantic City Boat Show will be held in the Convention Center and it is expected to host 36,000 boat enthusiasts.

Simultaneously, Boardwalk Hall will host the battle of the Boardwalk National Cheerleading Competition. It will bring more than 15,000 cheerleaders, families and fans to the first building with no indoor support to be built in the world. These events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 7 and 8.

Spirit Unlimited is presenting a cheerleading event that will feature a showdown of future world champions. They will be vying for two fully paid bids and four at-large bids to the Cheerleading Worlds. They will be awarded at the conclusion of this competition. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at the Boardwalk Hall box office.

Mr. Mature America

Ocean City’s Mr. Mature America Pageant will be held for the second year at the Music Pier, on March 28. It is the only talent contest in the world for men 55 and older. I had the privilege of receiving an award in the midst of that contest. It was a wonderful evening of entertainment.

The men enjoyed themselves and the audience loudly applauded their talent and their manner of presentation. Once again, Mark Soifer has come up with another public relations coup for Ocean City. Based on last year’s program, this year’s will be even bigger and better with more contestants. Information to enter the contest is readily available in the public relations office of Ocean City. The spectators enjoyed it immensely, as did I.

Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. Email Pinky at: pinkyscrnr@aol.com

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