Today, Monday, May 6, 2019, Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Chris Smith (NJ-4) formally introduced the bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act (HR 2523), which fights back against the proposed New York congestion taxes targeting hardworking New Jersey families for driving into Manhattan. While the full brunt of this tax burden will be placed on New Jersey drivers, the State of New Jersey and its transit and infrastructure systems will not benefit.
Under New York’s new plan, drivers using the George Washington Bridge, for example, will have to pay the usual $15 toll, but then also an additional eight- to twelve-dollar tax when they drive below 60th Street. For the thousands of daily Jersey commuters, this means a new congestion tax of about $3000 a year.
“Proposing a new regressive congestion tax, out of the blue, on New Jersey commuters who already pay a fortune, is no way to make this region stronger,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m hoping that New York comes to its senses and we can sit down together, cooperatively and constructively, and eliminate this new double tax on Jersey commuters.”
Gottheimer continued, “Until then, I’m calling this bill the Manhattan Moocher Prevention Act.”
“Every day tens of thousands of NJ residents help boost the NYC local economy, frequenting delis, restaurants and buying goods and services during the work day. The proposed congestion tax is punitive, regressive and unfairly targets NJ workers who already pay significant taxes to the State of NY. Reciprocity should be the order of the day, working together on key projects like Gateway to secure our regional economic strength, rather than this NY proposal that is counterproductive, divisive, unfair and will ultimately hurt our shared economy,” said Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4).
According to the most recent Census data, nearly 400,000 New Jersey residents not only worked in New York City, but also filed and paid state taxes in New York. Most of these Jersey residents are daily commuters into New York City. With New Jersey already contributing to New York’s bottom line, until New York reconsiders its unreasonable congestion tax proposal, there is no other choice but to dig in and fight back.
This bipartisan legislation takes two concrete actions:
1) The Anti-Congestion Tax Act will prohibit the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from awarding any new Capital Investment Grants to MTA projects in New York until drivers from all three New Jersey crossings into Manhattan receive exemptions from the congestion tax.
2) The Anti-Congestion Tax Act will amend the Internal Revenue Code to offer drivers a federal tax credit at the end of the year equal to the amount paid in congestion taxes entering Manhattan from any of the three New Jersey crossings. This will protect Jersey drivers from double taxation.
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