NJ lawmakers: Incentives could counter Manhattan congestion toll

New Jersey continues to push back against the forthcoming Manhattan congestion pricing toll. Some New Jersey lawmakers are proposing legislation that would give incentives to businesses that reduce the commute time for employees from New Jersey.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a New Jersey Democrat, has been leading the charge against New York's plan to place a still undetermined toll on vehicles entering Manhattan south of 60th Street. He calls his effort the "Stay in Jersey" campaign.

The proposed legislation, called the Expand New Jersey Assistance Program, hopes to convince New York-based businesses to open regional offices in the Garden State for Jersey-based employees by offering the companies tax credits.

"To help North Jersey residents who can work from Jersey, saving them tens of thousands of dollars every year, boost our local economy, avoid their stressful commutes, see their families more and avoid New York's ridiculous congestion tax."

New York approved congestion pricing back in 2019 but various delays have pushed back its rollout. The revenue generated — estimated at $1 billion annually — would be used to back borrowing for capital improvements to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's subway and bus systems.

In a statement to FOX 5 NY, an MTA spokesperson defended the plan. 

"The value of congestion pricing is clear: Less traffic, reduced pollution and more reliable mass transit for the vast majority of commuters, including those in New Jersey, who take trains and buses to Manhattan," MTA Communications Director Tim Minton said. "That's a win for the entire region that can't be disguised by grandstanding politicians."

With The Associated Press.