Bipartisan bill aims to stop New York City's congestion pricing plan

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Newly proposed bill aims to stop congestion pricing in its path
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The bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act was proposed by two congressman, New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer and New York Republican Matt Lawler. Marcus Solis has the story.

FORT LEE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A new plan was unveiled by a pair of suburban lawmakers Thursday to stop congestion pricing in its path.

The bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Act was proposed by two congressman, New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer and New York Republican Matt Lawler.

They've drawn up legislation to defund the MTA at the federal level if congestion pricing is put in place.

"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, like my friend Congressman Lawler represents, with their absurd $23 a day Congestion Tax plan," Gottheimer said.

RELATED | New Jersey congressman declares war on NYC's congestion pricing plan

The MTA says congestion pricing is good for the environment and would benefit the riding public.

Drivers hate the idea.

"What if you work in downtown, $23 a day times five, that's almost $125," one driver said.

"I might have to find a new way, I might have to take the bus, I don't think I'm gonna be able to drive, that's too much," motorist Geraldo Gomez said.

Gottheimer said he believes the congestion tax plan won't reduce congestion or pollution and will disproportionately impact low-income drivers.

Lawler called congestion pricing, "a ludicrous tax grab by the country's most mismanaged authority, should be stopped dead in its tracks."

Meanwhile, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she doubts the legislation proposed on Thursday would pass the Senate.

"We are now at the community involvement stage, so it is moving forward, I am committed to this, it is on a track to move forward," Hochul said. "It's important for this community."

Washington sends the MTA about $2 billion a year and gave $15 billion in COVID relief.

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