New Jersey lawmakers slam Manhattan congestion pricing plan

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Two New Jersey congressmen are adding their voices in opposition to New York City's plan to charge motorists a fee for entering Manhattan, a move they say unfairly burdens New Jersey commuters.

Democrats Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell announced legislation Wednesday they say will ensure New Jersey motorists who already pay up to $15 for bridge or tunnel tolls won't be charged twice.

"The Anti-Congestion Tax Act takes two concrete solutions," said Gottheimer. "First, the Anti-Congestion Tax Act will prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from awarding any new capital investment grants to the MTA projects in New York until all drivers from all three NJ crossings into Manhattan receive exemptions from this new congestion tax.  The Anti-Congestion Tax Act will amend the Internal Revenue code to offer drivers a federal tax credit at the end of the year to equal the amount paid to enter Manhattan from any of the three NJ crossings."

"We're used to getting the short end of the stick here in New Jersey," said Pascrell. "Congestion pricing is a wrong deal for New Jersey commuters as it stands today."

New York's legislature approved a conceptual plan this month.

A panel will be convened to set the prices and determine any exemptions.

The extra revenue will be used to fix the city's mass transit system.

New York would become the first American city to use so-called congestion pricing to reduce gridlock and fund mass transit improvements.

"We didn't see it coming," said Gottheimer. "As we say in New Jersey, with friends like these, who needs enemies."

With the Associated Press