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Malliotakis & Gottheimer: Economic Study for Congestion Pricing Needed

May 3, 2021

(WASHINGTON, DC) - Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, along with Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), introduced H.R.2476, the Economic Impact of Tolling Act, bipartisan legislation that pushes back on Congestion Pricing Programs by requiring thorough economic impact statements to provide more transparency to the public and policymakers as to the impacts and consequences congestion pricing will have on workers, residents and businesses.

In March, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Biden Administration approved the nation's first Congestion Pricing Program in New York City without conducting a detailed economic and environmental review. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) said the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) can submit a less thorough environmental assessment instead of an environmental impact statement, which would have required a list of alternatives to the planned tolling program. However, Malliotakis is concerned about the impact excess tolling will have on the city's recovering economy at a time when officials want more people entering the city center to stimulate New York City's economy and generate tax revenue.

"As the Representative for Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, communities that are extremely sensitive to tolling, I'm disappointed in the FHA's failure to conduct a thorough and economic and environmental review of the Congestion Pricing Program before its implementation," said Congresswoman Malliotakis, who voted against the creation of a New York City Congestion Pricing Program as a member of the State Legislature. "That's why I've introduced legislation that would require the MTA and other transportation authorities across the country to conduct full-scale reviews of Congestion Pricing Programs and release the results to the public before they are put in place. Congestion Pricing could have a number of unintended consequences on New York City residents, commuters and working-class Americans from transportation starved communities and it is irresponsible for the city, state and federal government to move forward with the program without identifying and being transparent about the potential issue areas."

The lawmakers, who both oppose Congestion Pricing, argue that an economic impact study is needed to conduct due diligence, as New York's Congestion Pricing Program would be the first in the nation. The Economic Impact of Tolling Act would Prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from implementing Congestion Pricing Programs until an economic impact analysis is completed and made available to the public.

"This new congestion tax would whack daily North Jersey commuters with a new $3,000 annual tax if they take the George Washington Bridge to head into midtown, and the dollars wouldn't go to support New Jersey or our public transit. With this new bipartisan bill, a full economic and environmental review of New York's proposed congestion tax would have to take place, with the results made public, so North Jersey families can know how this ridiculous tax will impact them," said Congressman Gottheimer.