News Department

Rep. Josh Gottheimer says MTA chair gets his facts wrong about own congestion tax proposal

NORTH JERSEY — U.S. Congressman Josh Gotthiemer Thursday highlighted that, based on the MTA’s own projections in their report and publicly available data, there could be a drop in traffic over the crossings into New York City.

As a result, because of the $23-a-day 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, Gotthiemer said.

To make up lost revenue, the Port Authority could have to raise tolls over the bridge and tunnels by $2 or more — another hidden tax on commuters, Gotthiemer said.

In a press conference Thursday, MTA Chair Janno Leiber said that these numbers are “not in any MTA report and I have no idea where they came from.” Leiber also said, “I don’t know the numbers he’s come up with.”

“We urge Mr. Leiber to read his own reports,” Gotthiemer said.

In the MTA’s own Environmental Assessment report, on page 4A-12, Congestion Tax Scenario G states that the MTA projects a 19.5% reduction in cars entering the Manhattan Central Business District from New Jersey because of the Congestion Tax, Gotthiemer said.

The $125 million revenue loss is calculated by applying the MTA’s own projection of a 20% reduction in cars traveling to New York City to the Port Authority’s public data of New Jersey drivers crossing into the City. A nearly 20% reduction in cars traveling to New York from New Jersey would likely result in a nearly 20% reduction in Port Authority toll fare revenue, Gotthiemer said.

“These are MTA’s own numbers and reports that anyone can find online, and it’s simple math. If there are about 20% fewer cars crossing into New York, then there will be about 20% less revenue for the Port Authority,” Gottheimer said. “If their report is true, the Port Authority stands to lose around $125 million a year — more than $1.25 billion over the next decade in lost revenue. To make up lost revenue, the Port would likely have to raise tolls $2 or more to go over the GW Bridge or through the Holland or Lincoln — and institute a massive cut in the Port Authority’s capital projects. That would be devastating to New Jersey families and commuters on both fronts.”

Gottheimer highlighted the Port Authority Capital Projects that could be impacted by the MTA’s Congestion Tax Thursday.

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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