Drivers in New York will potentially be taxed after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a new tax on passenger vehicles in the city. But, will it stand up to scrutiny?

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On Wednesday, March 27, 2023, the MTA approved a new $15 toll for passenger cars driving into Manhattan. The congestion tax is a first in an American City, according to ABC News.

The new tax would apply to vehicles driving south of 60th Street between 5 am and 9 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 9 pm on weekends. Vehicles traveling on the West Side Highway and FDR Drive will be exempt. Passenger vehicles will be subject to a $15 toll for driving through the heart of NYC.

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The MTA tweeted "It's a historic day: Today, the MTA Board voted to approve the toll rates for the nation's first congestion pricing program. This program will reduce traffic in Manhattan's central business district, reduce pollution, and provide critical funding for transit improvements."

New York City's Congestion Toll Faces Multiple Lawsuits

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The congestion tax is facing lawsuits and pushback. New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy released a statement saying,

"This is far from over and we will continue to fight this blatant cash grab. The MTA’s actions today are further proof that they are determined to violate the law in order to balance their budget on the backs of New Jersey commuters. We will continue to avail ourselves of every option in order to protect residents on this side of the Hudson from an unfair tolling scheme that discriminates against New Jerseyans, especially lower and middle-income drivers."

John McCarthy, chief of policy and external affairs from the MTA, responded to Gov. Murphy's lawsuit by saying,

“You’ve got to be kidding. New Jersey collects millions from New York drivers who use the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, but it’s somehow unconstitutional for New York to toll its own roads?”

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According to Spectrum, a group of New York residents has filed suit against the city for the tax. The residents, mostly from the Lower East Side, filed a class action lawsuit against the tax in January, prior to its approval.

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