News Department

Gottheimer highlights hidden ‘Port Authority Punishment’ from the MTA’s Congestion Tax

NEW JERSEY — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Thursday joined with local elected officials next to the George Washington Bridge to announce how the MTA’s Congestion Tax could have a massive negative impact on Port Authority revenue for key capital projects and could lead to potential $2 toll increases over the GW Bridge, Holland and Lincoln Tunnels.

When you include this new toll, the Congestion Tax could cost Jersey and New York drivers up to $25 dollars a day — more than $5,500 a year to drive to work or visit New York City south of 60th Street. This is on top of the $17-a-day tolls for bridge and tunnel crossings into New York.

According to the MTA’s own projections and publicly available data, with fewer cars going south of 60th Street from their Congestion Tax, the Port Authority could lose around $125 million a year from fewer drivers using the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Holland Tunnel — more than $1.25 billion in lost revenue over the next decade. To make up lost revenue, it could mean a $2 or more toll increase — a hidden tax — to go over the George Washington Bridge or through the Holland or Lincoln Tunnels — on top of the current $17 daily toll. That would send Congestion Tax costs up to $25 a day total — or a new $5,500-per-year tax for hardworking families.

Additionally, this lost $125 million a year for the Port Authority — more than $1.25 billion over a decade — will have a huge impact on Port Authority’s capital projects that benefit New Jersey residents and our entire region.

Port Authority Capital Projects that could be impacted by the MTA’s Congestion Tax include: 

  • Renovating the nearly 100-year-old George Washington Bridge to fix suspension cables.
  • Replacing the Lincoln Tunnel helix, which is more than 80 years old.
  • Resources to upgrade the PATH train.
  • Repairs to runways, terminals, and Air Trains at Newark, La Guardia, and JFK airports — travel hubs that are critical to our economy and regular travel for Jersey families.
    • Newark consistently ranks at the bottom of all major airports in overall satisfaction. This lost revenue that the MTA is stealing would be used to improve these airports — helping reduce wait times and boost quality.
  • The Port Wharf Replacement Program to replace waterfront structures needed for handling cargo at five port facilities — three in New Jersey and two in New York.
    • This project is critical to our supply chain and would help our ports move goods quicker.
  • Renovating the Port Authority Bus Terminal — which opened in 1950 and is in need of critical updates.

“Today, I want to bring a new fact to light. According to the MTA’s own projections, in their federal reporting, and if what they say is true and fewer cars go south of 60th Street, the Port Authority stands to lose around $125 million a year — more than $1.25 billion over the next decade in lost revenue. What does that mean for the folks left with no other choice but to drive to work? Or those going to New York City for a doctor’s appointment, to shop, or see family? To make up lost revenue, it could mean a $2 or more toll increase — a hidden tax — to go over the GW Bridge here or through the Holland or Lincoln — on top of the $17 a day. That would send the Congestion Tax up from $23 to $25 a day total — or $5,500 a year for hardworking families. When you add gas and parking, that’s more than $20,000 a year lost in after-tax income just to drive to work,” Gottheimer said. “The MTA is literally robbing Peter to pay Paul to boost revenue for the MTA. I’m calling on the MTA to back down now, find another solution to its financial woes that doesn’t squeeze more blood out of the Jersey stone.”

“The MTA has a budget problem that it wants the people of New Jersey to pay, but we can’t afford to pay the problem that they have. Congressman Gottheimer has been here in leadership, and we think the federal government is the right place for somebody to say to New York City, ‘cut it out,'” said Executive Director of the Fair Congestion Pricing Alliance Ron Simoncini.

Gottheimer recently announced his Anti-Congestion Tax Act with New York Republican Congressman Mike Lawler and New Jersey Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew.

The bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act will:

  • Prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation from awarding any new Capital Investment Grants to MTA projects in New York until drivers from all New Jersey and New York crossings into Manhattan receive exemptions from any Congestion Tax.
  • Amend the U.S. tax code to offer commuters a federal tax credit at the end of the year equal to the amount they paid in a Congestion Tax. This will protect both New Jersey and New York drivers.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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