Could Jersey Residents Be Facing Another NYC Commuter Tax? [AUDIO]
It's just what Garden state commuters don't want to hear- the Manhattan Borough President in New York City is calling on fellow lawmakers to re-institute a commuter tax for Jersey residents who work in the Big Apple.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office estimates the tax could generate $725 million a year for regional mass transit. The tax was in place for 33 years before the New York State Legislature eliminated it 13 years ago.
Governor Christie says bringing the tax back " doesn't sound like a good idea to me…cause it doesn't make any sense - for New York's economy, it doesn't make any sense for New Jersey's economy…it's certainly not something that we would be in favor of - and I haven't heard from Mayor Bloomberg about it, so I don't consider it to be anywhere near as serious an idea until I hear from the Mayor about it - and he and I have a good relationship - we talk regularly - so I'm sure if it was something on the front burner I'd hear directly from him."
He says "measures that wind up hurting your economy in the long term are penny-wise and pound foolish, and Mayor Bloomberg is someone who has accumulated great success in the private sector himself - and he understands this- and I doubt he'd be in favor of it…when we have a new Mayor in 2014, you know, if the new Mayor is looking at this - I'll certainly be willing to sit down with him or her and try to have those conversations - and try to make the argument that it doesn't make sense for the region…economies are really regional now in many respects and what's good for New York's economy is usually good for New Jersey's economy and vice versa…we don't want government getting in the way of that and creating impediments to growth, cause we know the only way we're going to make citizens lives better in the region is to grow our economy in the region."
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When the Governor was asked whether a commuter tax could spark a border war, he said "I don't want to speculate about that… I mean I hope what we'd be able to do is to prevail upon the people of New York City to understand that everybody has temporary budget issues now that they're dealing with…but this doesn't make sense."