New York City, NY

Here's Why NJ Lawmakers are Upset with NYC's Congestion Pricing Plan

Genius Turner
NY is gearing up to impose a toll on motorists driving into Manhattan, below 60th Street, during rush hour.(Dan Souza/Wikimedia Commons)

NJ plans to counter NY's 'Congestion Toll' by imposing a tax of its own

New York City — "When I was growing up, I was the little brother, which made me the [New Jersey] Nets of our household," Jeff Frier once complained. He went on to note how "my older brother came first," even getting the big piece of the chicken at dinner.

For ages, New Jersey has openly complained about New York — in particular the city named after the state. "Big Brother" seemingly delights in the role, Jersey groans. Heck, not even Jersey's beloved Nets were safe from Big Brother's grasp. After all, the New Jersey Nets removed the "New," kept the jersey, and then slapped "Brooklyn" on its front.

Now, of all things, it appears Big Brother is on the verge of charging little brother extra for even visiting his area, during peak hours. No wonder, then, when NJ Senator Joe Lagana suggested Jersey is sick and tired of being sick and tired of playing the "little brother" role, New Jerseyans all but cheered.

"We simply can not expect a robust recovery and a return to in-person work to be successful if workers needed in New York City are being penalized simply for going to their jobs," Lagana said. "New Jersey is not New York City's piggy bank."

Perhaps Jersey somewhat feels like the singer Solange, who once admitted she struggled with being Beyoncé's little sister. The spotlight seemingly follows Big Sister's every move after all.

When your state is directly linked to the very city "described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world," not to mention "the most photographed city in the world," too, clearly this poses a unique challenge. And the latest challenge has Jersey's lawmakers, apparently, saying "enough is enough."

Lawmakers plan to counter NYC's congestion toll fee with one of their own. Namely, Jersey will also tax out-of-state drivers entering their borders. As US Rep. Josh Gottheimer put it:

New York is going to attack our wallets and attack our families. We’re going to give them a taste of their own medicine.

"This interstate rivalry is really starting to take a toll," the NY Post quipped.

According to Gottheimer, NY stands to earn as much as $1 billion per year. He then noted how Manhattan's congestion toll could cost New Jerseans — traveling into the city — as much as $3,000 a year in tolls. Ouch!

By charging non-New Jersey motorists for entering the state, NJ lawmakers hope "the collected money would go into a fund to reimburse New Jersey commuters," according to a Fox 5 report. Sure, it's being reported a large chunk of that projected billion in revenue will go toward refurbishing NYC's bus and subway systems, but from little brother's perspective: "How does that benefit Jersey?"

In short, perhaps this age-old tug of war, which involves standing on the opposite end of a tunnel, not rope, was best summed up by Hegel:

Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.

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