Stepping up his fight against New York City’s congestion pricing plan, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and three Bergen County legislators today announced a new proposal that would incentivize New Jersey commuters to stay on their side of the Hudson.
Legislation offered by State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn) and Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield) offers tax credits for New York-based companies to open regional offices in New Jersey, and reward businesses that help reduce commuting costs for their employees.
The New York plan, which Gottheimer called a Congestion Tax, could cost New Jerseyans who drive to New York an extra $23 per day, on top of tolls, gas and parking,
“Just read MTA spelled backwards and it tells you exactly how New York looks at New Jersey right now: as their personal ATM,” said Gottheimer. “The ‘Stay in Jersey’ bill will establish a new incentive program to provide New York businesses with tax credits for expanding business operations into New Jersey — closer to the primary residence of existing Jersey full-time employees — to help them avoid having to drive into the city and get whacked by the Congestion Tax.”
The lawmakers argue that their plan would improve work productivity, reduce commuter stress, enhance family time, protect the environment, and create New Jersey jobs.
Lagana, who represents a suburban Bergen district full of commuters, said that New York City’s bid to “add exorbitant congestion pricing fees” makes a cost-cutting plan necessary.
“It’s no secret that working close to home benefits not only residents themselves, but is a boon to local economies,” Lagana said. “Business hubs spur economic development and investment in our mom and pop shops, local eateries and markets, and boutique downtown stores.”
Gottheimer estimates that the bill would save New Jersey commuters about $20,000 annually, “not to mention, all the benefits of less stress and more productivity and time with families from the hours spent not driving.”
“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,” said Gottheimer.