Rep. Mike Lawler Teams with NJ’s Gottheimer To Fight MTA’s Congestion Pricing Plan for NYC

FORT LEE, NJ —U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and newly elected Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17) announced last Thursday the introduction of new bipartisan legislation—the Anti-Congestion Tax Act—to prevent the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Congestion “Pricing” Tax from going into effect.

The congressmen stated that the Congestion Tax would cost New Jersey and New York drivers “up to $23 a day—more than $5,000 annually—on top of the already far-too-high $16-a-day tolls for our 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.”

The bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act would:
• 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.
• The bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act is being introduced by Rep. Gottheimer and co-sponsored by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2) and Rep. Lawler.

The MTA received $15 billion in federal COVID dollars and receives approximately $2 billion annually from the federal government. Yet, the MTA’s woeful mismanagement and lax enforcement of fare collection has led to a $2 billion budget deficit, lawmakers argued.

“New York City and the MTA are playing Russian roulette with their economy, and are willing to stick it to all of those hard-working commuters from Jersey, the outer boroughs and the New York City suburbs, whom my friend Congressman Lawler represents, with their absurd $23 a day Congestion Tax plan,” said Rep. Gottheimer. “A plan that, by the MTA’s own admission, won’t reduce congestion or pollution. In fact, it will increase both, including right here in Fort Lee, and, as the MTA put it, will disproportionately impact low-income drivers.” 

Rep. Lawler added, “For too long, Hudson Valley commuters have gotten the short end of the stick. With reduced service, no one-seat ride for Rockland County residents, and subways that have become increasingly dangerous. It’s no wonder that ridership is down as more folks commute into the city by car or by telecommuting. Which is why congestion pricing, a ludicrous tax grab by the country’s most mismanaged authority, should be stopped dead in its tracks.”

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