New York Note – Congestion Pricing, State Budget Delayed, City Budget Hearings

April 1, 2024

Congestion Pricing Rules Finalized by MTA

Last Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board approved final rules for the city’s Central Business District (CBD) tolling program, with a vote of 11-1. The finalized tolling structure is very close to the proposal recommended by the Traffic Mobility Review Board. Passenger vehicles will pay $15 during peak-hour tolls, with a 75% discount during off-peak hours. Exemptions for the toll include emergency vehicles, vehicles carrying people with disabilities, school buses carrying students to and from school, government vehicles, and commuter, intercity, and regional buses. Low-income drivers will be eligible for a 50% discount after their first 10 trips in a calendar month, and all drivers coming from the four tunnels entering the CBD will receive a “crossing credit” during peak hours. The Federal Highway Administration will now review the final tolling structure, with an expected approval, though several lawsuits against the congestion pricing plan are still pending.

State Budget Delayed

The New York State budget will be late, as lawmakers have not reached a deal on the FY25 spending plan by the deadline of today, April 1. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins indicated that negotiations were in the “middle of the middle.” Governor Hochul has delivered a budget extender through April 4 and stated that she believes a final agreement is “within reach.” Last year’s budget was passed in early May, over a month late.

Preliminary Budget Hearings Conclude

Preliminary budget hearings from the City Council have now concluded. During the preliminary budget hearings, representatives of the Adams administration conveyed that the City collected more revenue than expected. Although we are still awaiting a finalized state budget, the City expects increased funding from the state to assist with the costs of accommodating asylum seekers. Mayor Adams has also stated that the restriction of 30- and 60-day shelter stays has helped to keep costs down, which in turn has allowed the Administration to restore eliminated funding from November and January. The Council pushed for restorations in all areas of the budget. Budget negotiations will now continue. Mayor Adams will release his Executive Budget in April, which will be followed by additional Council budget hearings in May. Per the NYC charter, the budget must be adopted by June 30. A full list of the hearings, including testimony and transcripts, is available here.


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