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Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Gottheimer, legislators propose plan to combat N.Y. congestion pricing

By David Wildstein, May 10 2021 10:35 am

If New York enacts congestion pricing that picks the pocket of New Jerseyans , they could face a clawback from the other side of the river if Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and Bergen legislators get their way.

Gottheimer, joined by State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) and Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield), are backing legislation that would allow New Jersey to charge a sales tax on tolls of tunnels and bridges crossing the Hudson for non-New Jersey residents if the New York congestion pricing plan is approved.

Under a proposal outlined by Gottheimer, Lagana and Tully on Monday morning, only out of state drivers would have to pay the sales tax.  Revenues collected from the tax would be set aside so that New Jersey commuters could apply for a lump sum credit that would have them cover what they spent on New York congestion pricing.

“Once again, I think New York thinks Jersey is their ATM machine,” Gottheimer said. “Yes, New York City is struggling financially, just like our state and communities are too. Now, they want to throw out a hundred years of transit cooperation through the Port Authority, and fix their woes by whacking New Jersey families with a new Manhattan Moocher Congestion Tax.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney said that congestion pricing “runs completely counter” to the relationship  between New Jersey and New York.

“Congressman Gottheimer and Senator Lagana are looking out for the needs, and the wallets, of their constituents with this proposal,” Sweeney said.  “We will take any action needed to fight the double standard being imposed on our residents by this unfair policy.”

Lagana alleged that “commuters from North Jersey are being singled out by New York City’s congestion pricing plans.”

“Unfairly double taxing just our residents is not the answer to their congestion issues and unfortunately requires a response,” the Bergen County senator said.  “If fully implemented, New Jersey must counter by reimbursing money we pay out to this scheme through a fund established at the expense of out of state drivers traveling in the Garden State from New York.”

A three-term congressman from Bergen County, Gottheimer has been a strong critic of the New York congestion pricing plan that he says would come at the expense of New Jerseyans, many of them from New Jersey and the 5th district.

 

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