New Jersey Files Suit Against USDOT, FHWA to Block NY’s Congestion Pricing Plan
John Jordan | July 24, 2023
FORT LEE, NJ—New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, flanked by federal, state and local leaders, announced on Friday that the state had filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to block what it describes as the “ill-conceived: congestion pricing plan advanced by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City and New York State agencies.
In the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the State of New Jersey argues that the USDOT and the FHWA violated the National Environmental Protection Act, which requires a full environmental impact review for projects of this projected impact and scope, as well as the Clean Air Act.
Since New York and the MTA first revealed their proposed congestion pricing scheme, Gov. Murphy has been a vocal opponent of the congestion pricing plan. In June, the Murphy Administration announced that it had retained Randy Mastro and Craig Carpenito of King & Spalding to explore all of its legal options.
As part of the Murphy Administration’s comprehensive efforts to congestion pricings impact on New Jerseyans, Gov. Murphy also signed S3128/A4694, which will help ensure New Jersey taxpayer dollars stay in our state and go toward programs and services that benefit New Jerseyans. The bill will bring the state’s tax code in line with New York’s and allows New Jersey to tax remote employees who live out of state but work at New Jersey companies—if that state has a similar tax rule.
Additionally, the legislation provides tax credits for New Jersey residents who dispute aggressive tax policies imposed on them by other states. If New Jerseyans take this issue up with another state’s tax authority and receive a tax refund for work they did in New Jersey, the State of New Jersey will provide a tax credit. Furthermore, the bill creates a $35-million grant program to encourage companies that primarily operate outside the state to properly assign their employees that live in New Jersey and to open offices here.
“After refusing to conduct a full environmental review of the MTA’s poorly designed tolling program, the FHWA has unlawfully fast-tracked the agency’s attempt to line its own coffers at the expense of New Jersey families,” said Gov. Murphy. “The costs of standing idly by while the MTA uses New Jersey residents to help balance its budget sheets are more than economic. At the MTA’s own admission, its tolling program would divert traffic and shift pollution to many vulnerable New Jersey communities, impacting air quality while offering nothing to mitigate such considerable harm. Today we stand as a unified front against this reckless scheme and reaffirm our commitment to combat the unjust taxation of our hardworking residents by other states.”
“As the senior senator of New Jersey, I have made it abundantly clear that it’s unacceptable for New York to try balancing its budget on the backs of New Jersey commuters. Their proposed congestion tax scheme is nothing more than a shakedown and must be defeated,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “Today, I am proud to stand with Governor Murphy, as well as other federal, state, and local leaders, as his administration takes legal actions to protect New Jerseyans who travel into New York every day for work.”
At deadline, there are multiple reports that Staten Island Borough President Vito J. Fossella will announce a lawsuit by the borough against the congestion pricing plan on Monday, July 24.