In case you missed it, I joined Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Mike Lawler and Tom Kean Jr. in establishing a new bipartisan group in Congress to combat NYC’s Congestion Pricing Program – the Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus.
Our caucus is focused on stopping the MTA’s congestion pricing cash grab by pushing a fair, thorough and transparent assessment to expose the plan’s true impact on the outer boroughs and suburbs, and protect drivers from having to pay an additional $23 to commute into Manhattan. Instead, the U.S. Department of Transportation should audit the billions of dollars in federal assistance the MTA has received to find out why every dollar the agency gets seems to go into a blackhole.
(NEW YORK, NY) – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) announced the creation of a new, bipartisan Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus to combat New York’s proposed Congestion Pricing scheme.
The Caucus, which is led by Malliotakis and Gottheimer and comprised of members from New York and New Jersey, has introduced the Make Transportation Authorities Accountable and Transparent Act which would require the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct a full audit of the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) to see how its spent billions in federal assistance, along with Economic Impact of Tolling Act that would require a thorough economic impact analysis to provide more transparency to the public and policymakers about the potential consequences congestion pricing would have on workers, residents, and businesses.
“Studies have shown that Congestion Pricing would shift vehicle traffic from higher-income, more urbanized areas to lower-income, more vulnerable communities and in our case from Manhattan’s city center to the outer boroughs,” Malliotakis said. “The fact that the MTA and the Federal Highway Administration are jamming through a flawed Environmental Assessment that failed to include Staten Island in its street-level analysis not only makes our government vulnerable to a lawsuit but further shows how politicized the program’s implementation has become. We’re announcing this caucus today to show officials from the city, state, and federal level that if they irresponsibly proceed with this scheme, there’s a unified, bipartisan effort in Congress working to stop it.”
“The MTA has been so woefully mismanaged that they’re desperately looking anywhere for cash to fill the gigantic hole they dug for themselves,” Gottheimer said. “Their target? Hardworking commuters from New Jersey and New York. They plan to charge them $23 a day just to drive south of 60th Street here in New York – that’s more than $5,000 a year – all of it going to the MTA. Not a cent of it will go to the PATH or Jersey transit to actually help our state in any way…We’re here today to formally join forces with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Hudson to fight back against the Congestion Tax and get to the bottom of the MTA’s legendary mismanagement. The new bipartisan Congressional Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus will stand up for hardworking Jersey and New York families and drivers who will soon face the MTA’s $23 a day cash grab.”
Under the city’s plan, commuters may be forced to pay an additional $23 toll to enter Manhattan south of 60th street, costing drivers more than $5,000 per year, and potentially more for Staten Islanders who already pay a toll to connect to the rest of the city. Last month, the MTA announced the program is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024, citing delaysin receiving federal approval.
“I’m proud to join Congressman Gottheimer and Congresswoman Malliotakis to form the Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus,” said Rep. Mike Lawler (NY-17), Co-Chair of the Anti-Congestion Tax Caucus. “Governor Hochul and the MTA’s congestion pricing scheme is a regressive tax on commuters to New York City who have no reliable mass transit options. Before seeking more revenue, the MTA should work to get its house in order – especially on the runaway spending front. Any transit agency that spends more money on consultants than the actual boring of a tunnel has its priorities totally out of whack. I am hopeful that both the Governor and the MTA will see reason here and work with our bipartisan group to prevent this ridiculous scheme from ever going into effect.”
“I am happy to be part of this important bipartisan, bi-state effort to push back against New York’s Congestion Pricing Program,” said Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (NJ-07). “This plan is deeply flawed, unfair, and represents yet another money-grab on New Jersey commuters’ wallets. We are drawing the line and sending a message that it is wrong for any level of government to pile more tolls and fees on the backs of commuters in the midst of an unprecedented affordability crisis in our region.”
TO WATCH TODAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE, CLICK HERE.
Banner Image: Rep. Malliotakis and Rep. Gottheimer. Image Credit – Rep. Malliotakis