Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

Gov. Hochul Reportedly Working To Delay New York City’s Climate Toll Program

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is reportedly working to delay New York City’s congestion pricing scheme, according to The New York Times.

New York City is poised to begin charging drivers up to $15 to enter the area south of Central Park in Manhattan on June 30, but Hochul is reportedly moving behind the scenes to try to postpone the program’s launch, according to the Times, which cited two anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Hochul is reportedly worried that the climate toll is going to roll out at an inopportune moment because it could dissuade commuters from returning to Manhattan’s business district while the city is still trying to recover from the pandemic’s economic effects, and that the policy could be a political liability for some House Democrats from New York in November’s elections, according to Politico.

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House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, reportedly has communicated with Hochul about concerns that the policy could work against some House Democrats looking to win competitive races in the state later this year, according to Politico.

Provided it takes effect as scheduled, the policy’s costs are likely to hit commuters from other parts of New York City and surrounding counties especially hard, as well as suburbanites from Connecticut and New Jersey who regularly come into the city to work, according to the Times.

For this reason, Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, former President Donald Trump, labor unions and drivers have sharply criticized New York’s congestion pricing scheme.

“You guys and ladies, you’ve asked me over and over about congestion pricing and I say that we have to get it right. We have to make sure that it’s not a dual burden on everyday New Yorkers,” Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a Wednesday press conference. “We have to make sure that it’s not going to impact our recovery. We got to the point of more jobs in the city’s history because we have been supporting the recovery effort and I think that if she’s looking at analyzing what other ways we can do it and how we do it correctly, I’m all for it. We have to get it right. This is a major shift in our city and it must be done correctly.”

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In addition to reducing the amount of cars on the roads of Manhattan, officials expect the congestion pricing plan to provide $1 billion of revenue annually for New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) once it is in place, according to the Times.

Notably, the MTA has struggled to collect the money it is owed by its customers, losing an estimated $690 million to fare evasion in 2022 alone, according to a report by the Citizens Budget Commission.

It is unclear if Hochul’s effort to delay the congestion pricing and replace those revenues with a different source of funding will be able to garner adequate support in the state legislature, according to the Times. Hochul reportedly is considering a new tax on businesses to fill the gap that would be created by delaying the congestion pricing toll.

Hochul’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Daily Caller News Foundation

First published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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