STATEMENT: Gottheimer, Sen. Menendez, and Rep. Pascrell Statement on the Department of Transportation’s Decision to Allow NY’s Congestion Tax to Move Forward
Anti-Environment, Anti-Commuter Cash-grabbing Congestion Tax Would Cost NJ Drivers $23/Day
NORTH JERSEY — Today, June 26, 2023, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) decision to allow New York’s and the MTA’s Congestion Tax plan to move forward without requiring a full and complete environmental study.
The MTA admitted in their own Environmental Assessment that the Congestion Tax will harm the environment.
“We are outraged at the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) decision to move forward with the Finding of No Significant Impact for New York’s and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Congestion Tax proposal without conducting a full and comprehensive review of the environmental impacts in New Jersey or the financial impact on low-income communities and commuters. This is nothing more than a cash grab to fund the MTA. There is no excuse for FHWA and the Department of Transportation’s failure to require New York to meaningfully engage with stakeholders across New Jersey and to not adequately consult the New Jersey congressional delegation and other elected officials. Despite significant outreach from multiple members of the delegation, including letters to the Department of Transportation calling for a comprehensive study of how this Congestion Tax shakedown will impact our state’s environment and hurt New Jersey families and small business owners, the agency chose a misguided and unacceptable path forward. By the MTA’s own admission in their report, the Congestion Tax plan would increase air pollution in New Jersey this year and until 2045.
As New York seeks FHWA’s final approval on its plan to increase costs for New Jersey families and the specifics of the toll costs and credits, no solution should be considered legitimate for as long as New Jersey is excluded from the decision-making process. All New Jersey drivers entering Manhattan using the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels and George Washington Bridge must be exempt from New York’s Congestion Tax. This process has been mired by a lack of transparency and a refusal to properly include all affected stakeholders. We will not stop fighting until we defeat this plan and ensure New York is not allowed to balance its budget on the backs of hard-working New Jersey families. That’s a Jersey promise.”