Monday, July 16, 2007

Congestion Tax: Good for Small Business?

In today's City Room blog Sewell Chan writes about the mayor's assertion that his congestion tax would be good for small business. The mayor's point was that his plan would "help retail businesses by allowing shoppers to reach commercial neighborhoods more easily."

To his credit, Chan goes on to point out that, "Of course, some small business owners are among the most fervent opponents of the plan, saying that the traffic fees will discourage shoppers from enntering some of the city's busiest neighborhoods." The mayor is simply out-to-lunch on this-and is ignoring the thousands of small contractors who make service calls in the targeted tax area.

Bloomberg's point about making some neighborhood shopping areas more accessible is simply incomprehensible. Does he really believe that more folks are going to drive into Chelsea or Chinatown, and pay the additional 8 bucks, because of a 6% decrease in congestion?

Once again, with no discernible economic impact study-and with none having been done by the Communist mayor of London-there is no way for any supporter of this tax to argue about the putative economic benefits of this taxing scheme-and certainly not when one of its key components is a truck tax that will not do a thing to relieve any traffic congestion.