A New Jersey congressman continues to look for ways to block the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s congestion pricing plan, which will charge New Jersey drivers an extra $23 to enter midtown Manhattan.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-NJ, said as Congress puts the finishing touches on a new government spending package before the end of the year, he has written a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations asking them to block what he calls the MTA’s “cash-grabbing Christmas-crushing congestion tax.”

“If the MTA insists on going forward with this congestion tax plan that would really crush New Jersey commuters and families, there’s no reason they need federal dollars we send every year to them,” said Gottheimer.

Cut them off

Gottheimer is asking for the MTA's federal funding to be axed until the authority agrees to "stop moving forward with this $23 dollar a day congestion tax on all commuters if you drive south of 60th Street in New York."

He pointed out the MTA currently receives about $2 billion a year in federal funding, and they got an additional $15 billion during the pandemic.

“They somehow seem to have blown it all and they’re now running a deficit, and there’s been lots of fraud and waste and abuse at the MTA.”

Gottheimer said many New York groups and organizations have argued the congestion tax is a terrible idea because it would hurt smaller businesses.

MTA called a mismanaged swamp

The congressman says the MTA is a "bureaucratic, mismanaged swamp" and everything possible must be done to stop the congestion tax plan from moving forward.

chris-mueller ThinkStock

“It’s not actually going to help ease congestion. It’s not going to help reduce pollution by their own admission, this is just a cash grab from them because of their mismanagement,” he said.

MTA officials have brushed aside comments made by Gottheimer as nothing more than heated rhetoric.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the congestion pricing plan is on track to begin sometime in 2024 and New Jersey residents will benefit from the reduced auto emissions after the plan takes effect.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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