FAIR LAWN, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey lawmakers introduced a new bill Tuesday to offer incentives to businesses in New York to open new offices in the Garden State.
The announcement, part of U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer's "Stay in Jersey" campaign, aims to help North Jersey residents who can work from Jersey and save them money on their commutes and allow for more time with family.
Officials say the move would also improve productivity for business, boost the local economy and help avoid New York's Congestion Tax.
Lawmakers say that New York's Congestion Tax, set to go into effect in 2023, would cost New Jersey drivers at least $23 a day on top of the $16 tolls for bridges and tunnels to drive south of 60th Street in NYC.
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"We fight for our families, we're sick and tired of New York City mooching off of us -- with friends like them, who needs enemies?" Gottheimer said.
By staying in New Jersey, aside from avoiding tolls and the Congestion Tax, employees would also save money on the cost of parking and gas.
Gottheimer says that could result in savings of $20,000 a year for employees.
The legislation would establish a $15 million per year program through 2027 to provide New York businesses with tax credits for expanding operations in New Jersey.
It would also reward businesses that reduce commuting costs for their New Jersey employees.
"The bottom line is that by staying and working in New Jersey, our residents will have more money in their pockets, our state and local economies will flourish, and more of our dollars spent will go towards supporting Jersey's incredible small businesses," Gottheimer said.
Lawmakers argue that the bill would also reduce stress for employees, reduce pollution in the air, support small businesses and create more jobs in New Jersey.
"Cutting down or eliminating completely the hours it takes to get to and from work enables us New Jerseyans to get home in time to go out for dinner with friends or read a story to our kids at bedtime," said NJ Assemblymember Lisa Swain.
MTA Communications Director Tim Minton released a statement Tuesday:
"The value of congestion pricing is clear: Less traffic, reduced pollution and more reliable mass transit for the vast majority of commuters, including those in New Jersey, who take trains and buses to Manhattan. That's a win for the entire region that can't be disguised by grandstanding politicians."
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