Gottheimer: Projected revenue for MTA congestion tax far exceeds NY state law

The congressman has filed a request for the MTA to provide any emails and documents containing the data, calculations and discussions that went into the congestion tax revenue projections.

Matt Trapani and Emmanuella Pierre

Feb 23, 2024, 1:35 AM

Updated 53 days ago

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Rep. Josh Gottheimer announced on Thursday that he has submitted a legal request for the Metropolitan Transit Authority's congestion tax revenue calculations.
He says that this is not the path that he wanted to take but that New York has left him no choice.
“[The MTA refuses] to come clean. For me, that’s a massive red flag,” Gottheimer says. “Over the last three years alone, the federal government gave the MTA more than $17 billion. Don’t you think they owe it to the public to explain to us how that money was spent?”
The MTA is set to implement a $15 base congestion fare for vehicles entering Manhattan south of 60th Street.
Gottheimer says that after releasing an evidence-based report on the congestion tax, it suggests that the projected revenue far exceeds New York state law.
He says he reached out to the MTA 78 days ago and still has not received a response, which is why his office has decided to proceed with the legal action of filing an official Freedom of Information Law request to the MTA to provide any emails and documents containing the data, calculations and discussions that went into the congestion tax revenue projections.
He says the new fee will also lead to other complications.
"When they initially talked about congestion pricing, right, New York said it was going to lower traffic and they also claimed that it’s going to be better for the pollution in the air and south of 60th Street," Gottheimer says. “I can’t speak to - we can only focus on Jersey and the outer boroughs, and we know from their own submissions to the federal government that it’s going to lead to more traffic and more pollution."
John J. McCarthy, MTA chief of policy and external relations, responded to the congressman’s claims.
"While the MTA dramatically increased service while cutting its budget, gridlock Gottheimer hasn't lifted a finger to fix his NJ Transit service problems,” McCarthy wrote in a statement.
A spokesperson for Gottheimer says that the congressman “helped negotiate, write, and pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which includes $4.5 billion for New Jersey mass transit. Sounds like solving problems to me.”
Gottheimer says he will give an update as soon as he receives and analyzes the information requested.


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