RELEASE: Gottheimer Speaks at MTA New Jersey Public Meeting to Fight Back Against Unreasonable NYC Congestion Tax

Sep 24, 2021
Press

If adopted, the congestion tax will enable New York to mooch off of hardworking Jersey families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, September 24, 2021, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) spoke at the MTA Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP) New Jersey Public Meeting to denounce the proposed Manhattan Congestion Tax and fight for hardworking New Jersey commuters. If adopted, New Jersey commuters would not only need to pay a bridge or tunnel toll, but would also incur an additional toll if they drive south of 60th street in Manhattan. 

“Levying a new regressive tax on Jersey commuters, who already pay a fortune to get into the city, and millions in New York state taxes, plus all of the resources here in Washington that we sent to New York city during the COVID crisis. Instead, this is an attempt to mooch off of New Jersey,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I strongly urge you to withdraw this proposal and work with us toward a better solution for everyone.”

Gottheimer reiterated that the Congestion Tax is merely an attempt by New York to mooch off New Jersey residents who would need to pay double in taxes, while reaping none of the benefits for the NJ government nor the NJ Transit system. MTA Chief Financial Officer Bob Foran recently said during a June 2021 board meeting that the MTA does not need congestion pricing revenue right now. 

To help protect New Jersey commuters, Gottheimer also introduced the Anti-Congestion Tax Act along with Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2) earlier this year. 

The Anti-Congestion Tax Act takes two key actions:

  1. It will prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from awarding any new Capital Investment Grants to MTA projects in New York until drivers from the New Jersey crossings into Manhattan receive exemptions from this new congestion tax.

       2.  It 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.

Watch the remarks here.

Gottheimer’s full remarks from today’s public hearing are below

Hi everyone — I’m Congressman Josh Gottheimer, I’m proud to represent New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, and I’m here today to fight back against New York’s proposed congestion tax.

Under this proposed congestion tax, when New Jersey commuters drive across the GW Bridge and into Midtown, they will get whacked — not only with the GWB $16-a-day toll, which is ridiculous — but now an additional tax when they drive south of 60th Street. That’s up to $31 dollars a day or more in total, just to drive to work in New York City.

Even more concerning: unlike the shared Port Authority resources from the tolls, which help both our states, every nickel of this new congestion tax will go solely to the MTA. Not a cent will be shared with the PATH or NJ Transit to help Jersey. That’s unacceptable. 

Levying a new regressive tax on Jersey commuters, who already pay a fortune to get into the city, and millions in New York state taxes, is no way to make this region stronger. Instead, this is simply an attempt to mooch off of New Jersey. 

Also, as the MTA Chief Financial Officer said in June, the MTA is not in a position to really be needing the congestion pricing proceeds right now.

I strongly urge you to withdraw this proposal and work with us toward a better solution for everyone. However, should the proposed tax move forward, I urge you to act to ensure hard-working Jersey residents do not bear the brunt of the tax’s burden. At the least, New Jersey residents deserve an exemption.

When we work together, New Jersey and New York are a tough combination to beat. But right now, for my District and for all New Jersey commuters, I have no other choice but to fight back. 

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