FORT LEE, NJ — Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) announced plans this week to fight back against the proposed New York congestion taxes targeting New Jersey commuters that drive into Manhattan.
Even though the full brunt of the tax burden will be placed on New Jersey drivers, they won't see a nickel, Gottheimer said.
According to the most recent Census data, nearly 400,000 New Jersey residents not only worked in New York City, but they also filed and paid state taxes in New York. Most of these folks are daily commuters into New York City.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) announced new bipartisan legislation with Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) — the Anti-Congestion Tax Act, also known as the Manhattan Moocher Prevention Act — that takes two concrete actions to encourage New York to reconsider its new, outrageous congestion tax on New Jersey commuters.
1) The Anti-Congestion Tax bill will prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from awarding any new Capital Investment Grants to MTA projects in New York until drivers from all three New Jersey crossings into Manhattan receive exemptions from this new congestion tax.
2) The Anti-Congestion Tax bill will amend the Internal Revenue Code to offer drivers a federal tax credit at the end of the year equal to the amount paid in congestion taxes entering Manhattan from any of the three New Jersey crossings. This will protect Jersey drivers from double taxation.
Pascrell and Gottheimer also sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calling on him to consider the burden proposed congestion pricing would place on already-taxed New Jersey commuters, and call on him to invest revenue gained through imposed congestion pricing with New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the PATH system, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal which desperately needs an upgrade.
“The bottom line: When New York does well, it helps New Jersey. When New Jersey does well, it helps New York. Under the new plan, when commuters go across this bridge and drives into Midtown, they will be whacked, not just with the $15 toll here, which is ridiculous, but now an additional eight to twelve dollars when they drive south of 60th Street. That’s absurd double taxation at its finest. Even more galling, unlike the shared Port Authority resources for from the tolls on this bridge, that help New York and New Jersey, every nickel of that new mid-town congestion tax will go to New York, to their MTA, to help fix their subways. Thousands of Jersey drivers – many from my District and from Bill’s District – who commute every day, will face a new congestion tax of about $3,000 a year. That’s a joke.” Gottheimer said.
Gottheimer continues, “Proposing a new regressive congestion tax out of the blue on New Jersey commuters who already pay a fortune is no way to make this region stronger. I’m hoping that New York comes to its senses and we can sit down together, cooperatively and constructively, and eliminate this new double tax on Jersey commuters. New York can’t just take an additional 2x4 to our head. That’s why, in the coming days, I’ll be introducing bipartisan legislation with Republican Congressman Chris Smith, to encourage New York to reconsider their new, outrageous congestion tax on New Jersey commuters.”
“The Anti-Congestion Tax Act – or, as I like to also call it, the Manhattan Moocher Prevention Act, takes two concrete actions to stop New York in their tracks.”
“New Jerseyans are used to getting the short end of the stick. It’s part of why we’re so tough. But we pay our fair share – and then some,” Pascrell said. “What we’re proposing is sensible, as the needs of commuters in the region go beyond what happens in Lower Manhattan. New Jersey and New York are on the same team. We are not in competition. New Jersey’s priorities are New York’ priorities and vice-versa. But we will not back down from a fight to protect New Jersey families either.”
Until New York reconsiders their unreasonable congestion tax proposal, there is no other choice but to dig in and fight back.