News Department

Gottheimer, Lawler stand with NYC restaurant owner against New York’s $15/day Congestion Tax

MTA's Congestion Tax Will Drive Away Holiday Tourists, NJ Commuters — Decimating NYC Small Businesses

NEW YORK, NY — U.S. Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Mike Lawler (NY-17) Monday joined Julio Pena, owner of restaurant Il Posto Accanto, to highlight the terrible impact New York’s proposed $15-a-day Congestion Tax will have on small businesses, commuters, and families visiting Manhattan, especially during the holidays. Il Posto Accanto has been open for more than 25 years.

A list of New York businesses and organizations against the Congestion Tax can be found here.

Negative Effects of New York’s $15/Day Congestion Tax

  • The $15 Congestion Tax, on top of the existing tolls, gas, and parking, will drive many of Il Posto’s customers, including tourists and Jersey commuters, away from the city, decimating their small business.
  • It will also cause new fees for deliveries to the restaurants because trucks will have to pay the Congestion Tax every day. That cost will be passed down to the small business owners and customers.
  • New Jersey commuters and families will be priced out of coming to New York City for a meal, seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, walking past Macy’s storefront windows, or huddling together with hot chocolate while you watch the light show on Fifth Avenue.
  • The Congestion Tax will increase carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and even formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, into North Jersey and parts of New York.
  • Hardworking Jersey and New York families will soon face a $15 dollar a day — nearly $4,000 a year — Congestion Tax just to drive to work or visit south of 60th street in New York City. That’s on top of the $17 dollar tolls Jersey drivers pay a day already.

Gottheimer-backed Actions to Stop New York’s Congestion Tax

      • Gottheimer and Lawler are leading the bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act to
        • 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.
      • Gottheimer helped announce a new class action lawsuit put forth by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and Richard Galler, a Fort Lee resident and commuter who suffers from asthma. The lawsuit seeks:
        • An immediate stop to the Congestion Tax.
        • A full and proper environmental study from the Department of Transportation that includes the impact on Jersey.
        • If the court does not stop the Congestion Tax, New York must provide funding for a medical monitoring program to evaluate and treat respiratory distress and asthma resulting from the Congestion Tax.
    • Gottheimer helped announce New Jersey’s lawsuit to stop New York’s Congestion Tax. The lawsuit argues that the U.S. Department of Transportation violated the National Environmental Protection Act, which requires a full environmental impact review for projects like the Congestion Tax plan, as well as the Clean Air Act.

Gottheimer-backed “Stay in Jersey” legislation to avoid New York’s Congestion Tax was signed into New Jersey state law to provide grants for out-of-state businesses who allow their Jersey resident employees to work in New Jersey locations. The legislation also takes steps to lower taxes for New Jersey residents working for out-of-state employers.

“It’s a slap in the face to every single hardworking small business owner and employee who just wants to put food on the table for their families. If I were a New York City business owner — small, medium, or large — I would call Governor Hochul today and demand she clean house at the MTA,” said Gottheimer, co-chair of the Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus. “Because of MTA Chairman Janno Lieber’s Congestion Tax, families will be priced out of coming to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, walking past Macy’s store front windows, or coming to dinner at Il Posto. Janno ‘Scrooge’ Lieber is putting coal in everyone’s stockings this year with his $15-a-day Congestion Tax.”

“At a time when New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet and can barely afford to live here, Governor Hochul has enacted an outrageous cash grab, stealing hundreds of millions from suburban commuters to fund the MTA’s bloated and mismanaged operations. This regressive tax will punish working class and middle class New Yorkers, while also hurting businesses and workers in New York City who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Lawler, co-chair of the Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus. “I’m proud to be working in a bipartisan fashion with Congressman Gottheimer to fight to put a stop to Hochul and the MTA’s congestion pricing cash grab.”

“As a small businessman, my wife and I have been running this business on this block since 1995. Whatever has come our way, Sandy, 9/11, anything and everything, the community has all rallied around. But after Covid and the difficulties we went through with that, to have Congestion Pricing shoved down our throats it’s going to be a death blow. It’s going to be a death blow to small businesses like ours and our customers will think twice about coming into the city from Jersey or Long Island, or Westchester — or even from the Upper East Side or Upper West Side,” said Julio Pena, co-owner of local small business Il Posto Accanto Restaurant. “It also going to hit us over the head with our vendors. We get at least 10 deliveries a day… they’re going to hit us with a fee. It’s just a money grab as far as we’re concerned.”

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.

Related Articles

Back to top button