Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce commends Murphy for congestion tax lawsuit

J. Morton Davis, the chairman of Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce in New York City, and Duvi Honig, founder and CEO of Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey, expressed support for Gov. Phil Murphy’s fight against the Congestion Tax.

In an open letter to the governor, Davis and Honig said the chambers were fully behind the governor’s recently announced lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of New York’s long-awaited federal approval for the ambitious plan.

The letter notes the urgency for struggling New Jerseyans of battling this impending financial blow on all fronts and praises the governor for his leadership.

“The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce stands firmly with the many thousands of New Jerseyans who gladly undertake the personal and financial toll of traveling out of state each day to provide for their families,” the letter states. “They look to New York City, the capital of the world’s business districts, as the necessary environment for their careers, and the city is all the better for their vital contributions to its economy.

“It is outrageous that New York City should see these already-strapped commuters, who are shelling out well in excess of $100 a commute between the prohibitive expenses of parking, tolls, and fuel, as little more than cash cows to swell its coffers.”

New York’s proposed congestion tax has been a regional point of contention between lawmakers within and without the state since it first got off the ground in early 2019.

Under the proposal, commuters entering Manhattan’s central business district during peak hours would be subject to an added toll reaching as high as $23. Having just notched the critical approval of the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the state is more poised than ever to see this proposal to fruition.

Murphy is now suing the federal government over its approval on the grounds that it did not meet its own standards for review before granting the approval.

As a representative of small businesses across New Jersey, Duvi said the Orthodox Jewish Chamber is emphatically on board with standing up against this misguided solution – offering an alternative, too.

“If the government wishes to reduce the economic and environmental costs of high congestion,” the letter argues, “it should endeavor toward solutions with actual substance by building much-needed railway infrastructure and making the streets and subways of New York City more amenable to commuters. Taking it out on struggling New Jerseyans cannot be countenanced.”

Davis also is head of DH Blair, a Wall Street investment firm.