Posts Tagged ‘tolls’

1st February
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, February 1, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

The commission appointed to “study” the mayor’s congestion pricing initiative has come up with a proposal that hardly changes the original plan. This commission was front-loaded with committed proponents of the idea, a kangaroo court if ever there was one - if kangaroos acquit.

There now seems to be a shift in emphasis away from claims by proponents that congestion pricing reduces traffic (only a 6% reduction is projected) or will clear pollution from the air and cure children of asthma. There is now more of an acknowlegement that the plan is about only one thing - creating a new revenue stream.

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14th December
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, December 14, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Debate on the mayor’s congestion tax scheme is about to get into high gear. It is clear that there will be modifications to the mayor’s plan. But we need to put aside those details. The main question before us is whether we are willing to open the door to the congestion tax in the first place. The details are immaterial.

I am sure that those who created the first income taxes or sales taxes to meet “emergency” needs would be horrified to see what became of their ideas years later. Tolls, imposed on bridges and roads were supposed to end once the construction bonds were retired. But tolls, like other taxes, keep going up.

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2nd November
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, November 2, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking about the reasons that I, and many others, occasionally drive into Manhattan, causing all this awful congestion that we hear so much about. My conclusion is that Mayor Bloomberg and other supporters of a congestion tax should be careful for what they wish. We may be a lot better off with congestion than without it.

Suffice it to say that when I do drive into Manhattan it is not to take a joyride to pass the time. Every time I drive into the “Congestion Zone” I am doing so for one reason - to engage in commerce. In other words, I am usually on a mission to spend money, bringing dollars to pump into Gotham’s economy.

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