RELEASE: Following MTA Chair’s Recent Comments, Gottheimer Asks Lieber to Confirm No Congestion Tax for Jersey Drivers

Jun 21, 2023
Press

NORTH JERSEY — Today, June 21, 2023, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) asked MTA Chair and CEO Janno Leiber to confirm that all Jersey drivers will be exempt from New York’s and the MTA’s $23-a-day Congestion Tax. 

Gottheimer’s letter comes following Lieber’s comments on CBS New York, saying that not charging a Congestion Tax for New Jersey drivers who already pay a toll to take the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels is now on the table and that the MTA is “taking fairness to New Jersey into consideration.”

Gottheimer asked that all Jersey drivers — including those who use the George Washington Bridge to enter Manhattan — be exempt from New York’s Congestion Tax.

The Congestion Tax would cost Jersey and New York drivers up to $23 dollars a day — on top of the $17-a-day tolls for bridges and tunnels — to drive to work or visit New York City south of 60th Street. No revenue from the Congestion Tax goes to support NJ Transit, PATH, or New Jersey in any way, unlike the shared Port Authority tolls.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

June 21, 2023

The Honorable Janno Lieber

MTA Chair and CEO

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) 2 Broadway

New York, NY 10004

Dear Chair Lieber:

On behalf of the people of Northern New Jersey, I am writing regarding your comments on CBS New York on Friday, June 9, 2023, where you stated that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) has “specifically studied” and is “definitely looking at” congestion pricing tolling scenarios that would not result in an additional tax on New Jersey drivers using the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels to drive into the Manhattan Central Business District. I was pleased to hear you explicitly say that you are “taking fairness to New Jersey into consideration” and that this fairness is “definitely on our minds.” On its face, that appears to be very positive news, and as such, I respectfully request responses to the following questions:

  1. Will you confirm zero-cost, full exemptions beyond the current Port Authority toll fares for New Jersey drivers using the Holland and Lincoln Tunnel crossings entering the Central Business District?
  1. As you know, millions of drivers also utilize the George Washington Bridge to enter the Central Business District. Will a full, zero-cost exemption also apply to drivers using the George Washington Bridge to enter the Central Business District?

Every day, countless New Jersey drivers rely upon the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Holland Tunnel for their respective commutes to work, to doctor’s appointments, and to see family. They already pay costly tolls to utilize these crossings. New Jersey drivers should not be held responsible for an additional tax, on top of these daily tolls, just because of the MTA’s mismanagement. I appreciate you also understanding that we will not expect New York to consult with New Jersey outside the Port Authority economic zone, such as with the

Long Island Expressway, just like we oversee the Garden State Parkway. Thank you for recognizing this burden and for exempting New Jersey drivers from the Congestion Tax in this shared, cooperative zone, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Josh Gottheimer

MEMBER OF CONGRESS

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