NJ Democrat joins NY Republicans in congressional effort to sink NYC's congestion pricing

NJ Democrat joins NY Republicans in congressional effort to sink NYC’s congestion pricing

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer introduced laws Thursday designed to punish New York for its plan to toll drivers who enter Manhattan beneath sixtieth Avenue.

The invoice, known as the Anti-Congestion Tax Act, would nix billions in funding for the cash-strapped MTA and sink a few of the company’s greatest development tasks.

The proposal has the assist of two New York Republican Home members: Staten Island and South Brooklyn Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and Rockland County Rep. Mike Lawler.

Gottheimer, a Democrat, has repeatedly accused the MTA of “whacking” New Jersey drivers, despite the fact that the MTA hasn’t set a precise value for the tolls or introduced who will likely be exempt from the fees.

“MTA backwards — ATM — that’s how they look at us,” Gottheimer mentioned at a Thursday press convention. “Let’s tell them to stop this.”

The invoice would freeze $2 billion in federal funding for the MTA, block funding for the transit company’s capital tasks and provides drivers a federal tax credit score on the finish of the 12 months in the event that they pay congestion charges.

The MTA is ready for federal officers to give ultimate approval for congestion pricing, which was accepted by state lawmakers in Albany almost 4 years in the past.

As soon as the company has the inexperienced mild, officers count on it to take a 12 months earlier than the tolls launch.

The MTA final 12 months printed an environmental evaluation for this system, which proposed a spread of toll costs drivers would possibly pay, from $9 throughout peak commuting time to $23.

“I will not stop until this plan is dead,” mentioned Lawler, who joined Gottheimer at Thursday’s information convention. “This is unacceptable and we won’t stand for it.”

MTA spokesperson John McCarthy mentioned Lawler ought to be conscious congestion pricing is codified in New York state regulation from his time as an assemblymember in Albany.

“Anyone serious about the environment and reducing gridlock understands that congestion pricing is good for the environment, good for getting fire trucks, buses and delivery vehicles through the city, and good for the 90% of people who depend on mass transit,” McCarthy mentioned.

Throughout one other information convention on Thursday, Gov. Kathy Hochul mentioned she’s “not deterred” by the invoice — and mentioned it has a slim likelihood of passing Congress as a result of it “would have to get through the U.S. Senate with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.”

Congestion pricing is required by regulation to generate $1 billion a 12 months, which the MTA would use to generate $16 billion in bond gross sales. That cash is required to be spent on main transit upgrades, like new subway indicators, practice automobiles and tasks to make stations accessible with elevators and ramps.

Gottheimer cited a 1985 regulation handed by Congress that ended two-way tolling on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge as inspiration for his invoice.

In 2020, two-way tolling returned to the bridge after Congress reversed the rule in the 2019 federal spending package deal, which was signed by former President Donald Trump.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has additionally been vital of the tolling program, however hasn’t issued any particular threats.

The MTA’s research of the tolling program’s influence discovered that 90% of New Jersey residents who commute to the tolling zone use mass transit as an alternative of personal automobiles.

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