RELEASE: MTA Continues Hiding, Refuses to Explain Congestion Tax Revenue Calculations in FOIL Response

Highlights MTA’s continued obstruction and mismanagement

Apr 26, 2024

Above: The MTA’s non-response to Gottheimer’s FOIL request.

NORTH JERSEY — After more than 80 calendar days, the MTA responded by not answering any of the questions in Gottheimer’s FOIL request. Instead, they responded with links to public websites that didn’t address the core question: How much money will they raise every year from the Congestion Tax? 

This comes as no surprise. The MTA and its CEO Janno Lieber don’t want to answer Gottheimer’s question because the facts are likely in line with his official report, which found that the MTA will raise billions more from the Congestion Tax than required by New York law. 

Gottheimer’s Congressional report on the Congestion Tax revenue calculations can be found here

The MTA’s non-response to Congressman Gottheimer’s FOIL request can be found here.

In January, Congressman Gottheimer released a detailed Congressional report that reported the MTA would generate $3.4 billion in annual revenue from the Congestion Tax, triple its requirement from the New York State Legislature. The report also found that the MTA could exempt New Jersey crossings from the Congestion Tax and still raise more than $1.4 billion, exceeding its revenue goal. Congressman Gottheimer publicly called on the MTA to explain its math and repeatedly requested a meeting with the MTA’s CEO Janno Lieber. The MTA failed to respond to more than thirty messages from Congressman Gottheimer’s office.

Late on April 25, 2024, after Congressman Gottheimer traveled to the MTA’s headquarters and publicly called for a meeting with Janno, the MTA responded to Gottheimer’s FOIL request refusing to be transparent and share its Congestion Tax calculations.

“The MTA’s complete nonresponse to Congressional oversight is a disservice to hardworking New Jersey and New York families — and all of America’s taxpayers who invest more than $2 billion a year in the MTA. What are they hiding?” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05). “After billions of dollars of waste and decades of mismanagement, the MTA should explain its calculations to the public. That’s why I’m calling on my colleagues in Congress to subpoena the MTA for more information and question the Congestion Tax in a public hearing. I’m more committed than ever to stopping this commuter-crushing, cancer-causing Congestion Tax and have launched new bipartisan action to block its implementation.”

On April 24, 2024, Congressman Gottheimer announced a bipartisan letter, calling on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to exercise greater oversight over the MTA regarding the Congestion Tax. He also introduced bipartisan legislation with Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) to block the MTA’s implementation of the Congestion Tax this June.

Below: Additional photos from the MTA’s non-response to Gottheimer’s FOIL request.


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