FORT LEE, NJ (Bergen County) – U.S. Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) Friday announced new federal steps to fight back against the proposed New York congestion taxes unfairly targeting hardworking New Jersey families for driving into midtown Manhattan.
The federal government recently gave New York the green light to begin implementing their congestion tax scheme, which would whack New Jersey drivers with an estimated $3,000-per-year daily fee for taking the George Washington Bridge to head below 60th Street.
In a formal request made Friday, Gottheimer and Pascrell are urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to commit to a comprehensive review of the effects that this new congestion tax will have on New Jersey’s commuters, and to require a robust public participation process, including public hearings in Northern New Jersey. The Members cite how the proposed congestion taxes will impact access to federal highways, result in double taxation to many commuters, and damage the regional economy at a precarious moment during COVID-19 recovery.
Currently, no public hearings have been announced for commuters to weigh-in on how the congestion tax will harm their families.
“Despite the hundred years of constructive cooperation, of sharing the costs and revenues of our bridges, tunnels, ports, and airports, New York is now trying to change the deal and stick it to their partner – the people of New Jersey – with a new Manhattan Moocher Congestion Tax. Yes, because of their own financial woes, New York City wants to blow up our historical cooperation, and hit every hard-working, middle class worker with an additional $14 congestion tax on top of the already unaffordable $15 toll every time they go over the George Washington Bridge and into Manhattan.,” Gottheimer said. “This is just New York mooching off Jersey to solve their own problems. It’s a ridiculous joke.”
“New Jerseyans are used to paying our fair share but New York’s congestion pricing scheme is a bridge too far,” Pascrell, Jr. said. “New York’s plan would saddle Jersey commuters with extra taxes. This is wrong and we won’t stand for it. My friend Congressman Gottheimer and I are calling on the Biden Administration to right this wrong and ensure fairness for New Jersey drivers. Anything less is unacceptable.”
Gottheimer also highlighted his bipartisan legislation — the Anti-Congestion Tax Act — introduced with Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) last Congress, to prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation from awarding new capital grants to MTA projects in New York until drivers from all three New Jersey crossings into Manhattan receive exemptions from any congestion tax. It would also amend the tax code to offer drivers a federal tax credit at the end of the year equal to the amount paid in congestion taxes entering Manhattan.