NEW JERSEY — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), along with NJ State Senator Joe Lagana (LD-38), Assemblyman Chris Tully (LD-38), and Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (LD-38) Monday proposed new state legislation to fight back against New York’s congestion tax scheme targeting hard-working New Jersey families and daily commuters with a new $3,000-per-year daily fee when entering into Midtown Manhattan.
If New York moves forward with its congestion tax, new legislation will be introduced in both the NJ State Senate and State Assembly to add the New Jersey state sales tax only for out-of-state drivers to every toll at every crossing from New Jersey into New York. Every sales tax dollar collected will go to a new Congestion Tax Relief Fund to help New Jersey commuters who will get whacked by New York’s congestion tax scheme. New Jersey commuters will get a credit from the new fund to help cover congestion fee costs.
Gottheimer also announced that he will be formally advising U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg of New Jersey’s plan and, again, urging USDOT to pause approvals for New York’s congestion tax scheme.
“Once again, I think New York thinks Jersey is their ATM machine,” Gottheimer said. “Yes, New York City is struggling financially, just like our state and communities are too. Now, they want to throw out a hundred years of transit cooperation through the Port Authority, and fix their woes by whacking New Jersey families with a new Manhattan Moocher Congestion Tax.”
“New Jersey has enjoyed a strong relationship with New York for years,” said NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “But congestion pricing runs completely counter to our record of working together. Congressman Gottheimer and Senator Lagana are looking out for the needs, and the wallets, of their constituents with this proposal. We will take any action needed to fight the double standard being imposed on our residents by this unfair policy.”
“Commuters from North Jersey are being singled out by New York City’s congestion pricing plans,” Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic) said. “Unfairly double taxing just our residents is not the answer to their congestion issues and unfortunately requires a response. If fully implemented, New Jersey must counter by reimbursing money we pay out to this scheme through a fund established at the expense of out of state drivers traveling in the Garden State from New York.”
“Congestion pricing is a slap in the face to North Jerseyans who commute into the city and already contribute plenty through income taxes, tolls and their patronage at local businesses,” Tully (D-Bergen/Passaic) said. “In this midst of a pandemic it is outrageous to ask New Jersey residents looking to work and feed their families to bailout New York City’s problems.”
“I first took a stand against congestion pricing double standards two years ago when I introduced a resolution opposing the plan and, like any New Jerseyan who is in the right, I won’t be backing down,” Swain (D Bergen/Passaic) said. “The fact that many families are struggling as a result of the pandemic makes this an even more offensive time to hit working people from this area with another tax.”