Commentary: Let’s Be Fair With Congestion Pricing
New York City’s subways are critical to its economic success, and we recognize the pressing need to fix the ailing system. However, when dealing with major regional economic development challenges, avoiding significant economic damage elsewhere is crucial.
Should congestion pricing become a reality, we would encourage exemptions for businesses that serve the public good.
At any given hour of any day, there are delivery trucks in the Manhattan business district. The trucks serve a need, bringing essential goods to the thousands of businesses that employ tens of thousands of people. Various trucks bringing goods produced elsewhere within the city or state have no alternative. Pallets of fresh food, office equipment, medical supplies, and utility repair equipment cannot be brought into the zone on subway cars or in taxis. These business vehicles serve the legitimate purpose of serving the needs of businesses that pay city taxes, provide jobs, and service the tax-paying residents of the city.
Another business to consider is ride-sharing. These companies, who already pay an MTA surcharge, will become scarce if they are subject to double taxation.
Lawmakers have continually and disproportionately targeted businesses with new and increased taxes in a city that already has the highest tax burden in the nation.
This initiative is an opportunity for state and city policymakers to be fair and reasonable to our private-sector employers and set pricing equitably among businesses and commuters.
We need to address the capital needs of the MTA without making it prohibitively expensive to do business in the city.