NEW JERSEY – Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) announced the leadership for a new, bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus to combat New York’s proposed Congestion Tax.
The Co-Chairs of the new bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus will be Gottheimer, Malliotakis, and Mike Lawler (NY-17).
The Congestion Tax would cost Jersey and New York drivers up to $23 dollars a day — more than $5,000 a year — on top of the $17-a-day tolls for bridges and tunnels, to drive to work or visit New York City south of 60th Street. No revenue from the Congestion Tax goes to support NJ Transit, PATH, or New Jersey in any way, unlike the shared Port Authority tolls.
Gottheimer and Malliotakis today outlined three priorities and the start of an action plan for the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus:
- Environment: Studying the true impact the Congestion Tax will have on the environment, especially in the outer boroughs and suburbs.
- Economic Impact: Protecting drivers and communities from the economic impact of the Congestion Tax.
- Oversight: Conduct oversight of the MTA and audit the billions in federal assistance the MTA has already received.
Gottheimer and Malliotakis also announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation — the Make Transportation Authorities Accountable and Transparent Act — requiring the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a full audit of the MTA to see how it has spent billions in federal assistance over the past five years.
Gottheimer also called on MTA leadership to testify under oath before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to give Congress a full accounting of the billions of federal dollars they received during COVID and annually.
“We are here today to formally join forces — with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Hudson — to fight back against the Congestion Tax — and get to the bottom of the MTA’s legendary mismanagement. The new bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus will stand up for hard-working New Jersey and New York drivers who will soon face the MTA’s $23-dollar-a-day cash grabbing Congestion Tax,” said Gottheimer, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus. “It’s time MTA leadership came before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and gave Congress a full accounting, under oath, of the billions of federal dollars they received during COVID — not to mention the billions more they get every year. We can’t keep pouring dollars into an MTA black hole. There needs to be appropriate federal oversight and increased accountability for the MTA and their questionable uses of the billions in federal funds they’ve received. As that old Wendy’s ad said, where’s the beef? Where did all that money go?”
“Studies have shown that Congestion Pricing would shift vehicle traffic from higher-income, more urbanized areas to lower-income, more vulnerable communities and in our case from Manhattan’s city center to the outer boroughs,” said Malliotakis, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus. “The fact that the MTA and the Federal Highway Administration are jamming through a flawed Environmental Assessment that failed to include Staten Island in its street-level analysis not only makes our government vulnerable to a lawsuit but further shows how politicized the program’s implementation has become. We’re announcing this caucus today to show officials from the city, state, and federal level that if they irresponsibly proceed with this scheme, there’s a unified, bipartisan effort in Congress working to stop it.”
“I’m proud to join Congressman Gottheimer and Congresswoman Malliotakis to form the Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus,” said Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus. “Governor Hochul and the MTA’s congestion pricing scheme is a regressive tax on commuters to New York City who have no reliable mass transit options. Before seeking more revenue, the MTA should work to get its house in order – especially on the runaway spending front. Any transit agency that spends more money on consultants than the actual boring of a tunnel has its priorities totally out of whack. I am hopeful that both the Governor and the MTA will see reason here and work with our bipartisan group to prevent this ridiculous scheme from ever going into effect.”
“I am happy to be part of this important bipartisan, bistate effort to push back against New York’s Congestion Pricing Program. This plan is deeply flawed, unfair, and represents yet another money-grab on New Jersey commuters’ wallets. We are drawing the line and sending a message that it is wrong for any level of government to pile more tolls and fees on the backs of commuters in the midst of an unprecedented affordability crisis in our region,” said Congressman Tom Kean, Jr. (NJ-7), member of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus.