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Politics

Michael Tannousis’s Bill to Repeal Road Charges

April 18, 2024

STATEN ISLAND, NY – New York State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis has submitted a bill that repeals Congestion Pricing plan of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was announced by Republican state lawmaker Michalis Tannousis at a press conference held on Monday, April 15, at the Verazzano Bridge monument.

As he stated, “I will immediately submit my bill to the Assembly, and I believe it will be passed into law because not only Republicans but also a large number of Democrats will support it, especially those representing Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and New Jersey. The charges are not, as those who voted for it claim, for improving traffic problems or protecting the environment, but they are a means to solve the financial deficit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The $15 tolls will be an additional financial burden for the residents of Staten Island, and not only, while it will shift pollution from Manhattan to surrounding areas. According to a recent environmental impact study, tolls in Manhattan will disproportionately increase traffic in other counties, leading to increased pollution. Moreover, the cost for all drivers will increase at a time when working and taxpaying citizens are facing a series of high living costs.”

Federal lawmaker Nicole Maliotakis emphasized that all legal and legislative means would be used to abolish the charges, as was done in New Jersey. And she added, “At the federal level, the Ministry of Transportation of the United States is prohibited from imposing any form of road tolls in any part of the country. Republicans in the House introduced a relevant bill, but unfortunately, the Democrat, Charles Schumer, withdrew it, doing harm to his own voters.

We will continue our efforts until the final repeal of this so unfair measure for the citizens.” Their support for Michalis Tannousis’s bill was expressed by Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, MPs Mike Reilly, Sam Pirozzolo, and municipal councilor Joey Borelli. It is worth noting that the plan, expected to take effect this spring, will charge most drivers $15 tolls to enter much of Manhattan below 60th Street.

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