RELEASE: Gottheimer Testifies Against MTA’s Congestion Tax During Public Hearing

Mar 04, 2024
Press

Calls for MTA to Clean Up Their Own Mess, Don’t Whack Hardworking Jersey Families

NORTH JERSEY — Today, March 4, 2024, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) testified during today’s public hearing to stand up against New York City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) cash-grabbing Congestion Tax.

A recording of Gottheimer’s testimony can be found here.

Gottheimer recently released a Congressional Report on New York’s proposed Congestion Tax finding that the MTA is estimated to generate $3.4 billion in a year from the Congestion Tax, well above the $1 billion objective required by New York’s State Legislature. 

Last month, Gottheimer submitted a Freedom of Information Law or FOIL request to the MTA to provide any emails and documents containing the data, calculations, and discussions that went into their Congestion Tax revenue projections. The MTA has 24 days left to comply and respond. 

“I join the overwhelming number of those opposed to the MTA’s outrageous Congestion Tax. Not only will it drain the pocketbooks of hardworking families, and disproportionately hurt lower-income families, but, by the MTA’s own admission, it will lead to more cancer-causing pollution and traffic in northern Jersey and in the outer boroughs,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) in his testimony. 

Gottheimer continued, “And equally offensive, the MTA admits it’s nothing more of a cash grab to plug the gaping hole of their legendary mismanagement. After receiving more than $17 billion taxpayer dollars from the federal government since 2020 alone, the MTA is still losing $3 billion a year. They lost $700 million last year alone from fare skippers – and went a billion dollars over budget for a poorly designed subway station. The bottom line: The MTA and New York should clean up their own mess instead of sticking it to Jersey families.”

Members of the public can submit comments to the MTA opposing the Congestion Tax to make their voices heard before 11:59 p.m. on March 11, 2024. More information on testifying and submitting comments to the MTA can be found here.

Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

My name is Josh Gottheimer and I represent New Jersey’s Fifth District in Congress. From nurses to law enforcement to restaurant workers and Uber drivers, many of the residents in New Jersey have no choice but to drive to New York City to make a living, or to see a doctor or family.

I join the overwhelming number of those opposed to the MTA’s outrageous Congestion Tax. Not only will it drain the pocketbooks of hardworking families, and disproportionately hurt lower-income families, but, by the MTA’s own admission, it will lead to more cancer-causing pollution and traffic in northern Jersey and in the outer boroughs. More cancer-causing truck pollution by the GWB and Lincoln and car traffic at the Lincoln and Holland. 

And equally offensive, the MTA admits it’s nothing more of a cash grab to plug the gaping hole of their legendary mismanagement. After receiving more than $17 billion taxpayer dollars from the federal government since 2020 alone, the MTA is still losing $3 billion a year. They lost $700 million last year alone from fare skippers – and went a billion dollars over budget for a poorly designed subway station. 

We believe, based on publicly available documents, the MTA’s $3.4 billion a year from the Congestion Tax will raise about $2.4 billion more than the New York State Legislature required. We don’t know the exact amount because the MTA won’t disclose their math to the public. They have 24 days now to respond to my public information request. 

We know this: the MTA will make more than enough from their Congestion Tax without whacking Jersey drivers – they should exempt all cars and trucks entering New York from the GWB or Lincoln and Holland. Not a nickel of the Congestion Tax will go to Jersey anyway. New York could even throw in an extra $600 million they had allocated to the owners of the Buffalo Bills to build a new stadium. Isn’t their MTA more important? 

The bottom line: The MTA and New York should clean up their own mess instead of sticking it to Jersey families. 

Who will be punished by the Congestion Tax?

Children with asthma in North Jersey who will now have more trouble breathing.

Cops, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, and sanitation employees, and patients at Mount Sinai, NYU, or New York Presbyterian who will pay extra just to go to work or their appointment.

New York’s Mayor and Governor should listen to their own small business owners, labor, and many more who have demanded the MTA reverse course on the Congestion Tax. We have had a constructive century long cooperative relationship with the Port Authority — we should keep it that way. 

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