Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Congestion Tax Reduction

As we have been saying, but perhaps our prescience has been drowned out by the din being made by the gotcha ad hominen chorus, the scheme to tax motorists is trending toward obsolescence. As the NY Sun reports this morning, the congestion commission is seriously considering alternatives to the original plan to tax motorists entering the CBD.

And wouldn't ya know it, the floated alternatives sound an awful lot like those that the anti-tax folks we represent have put forward: "With a showdown over Mayor Bloomberg's traffic tax looming, a commission studying his congestion-pricing plan yesterday considered alternatives that could reduce traffic jams on Manhattan's busiest streets without charging motorists."

Just as we've pointed out, the tax may not only be an anathema to the outer borough middle class, it may also be unnecessary to achieve the mayor's 6% congestion solution. What's being suggested? "Increasing the cost of on-street metered parking to $4 an hour from $1, raising taxes on garage parking, setting up taxi stands, and reducing the number of government-issued placards were some options laid on the table yesterday."

Yikes, what about the charge of hypocrisy that's been leveled against us? It seems that we have been arguing against interest if press reports are any indication. What this means is that there are times when we all have to make sacrifices in the public interest, and we're ready to join Straphangers at Russianoff's next press conference to save the fare (a change of perspective, no?).

All kidding aside, what this all may very well mean is that congestion taxing is about to be added to the pantheon of majestic Doctoroff failures, at least if the sour grapes remarks of Kathy Wylde to the Sun are any indication: "The proposal drew some criticism from supporters of Mr. Bloomberg's congestion-pricing proposal, which would charge drivers $8 to enter and drive in most of Manhattan during peak hours. "My assumption would be that if you raise the price of taxis, you'd get a lot more people getting in cars," the president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, Kathryn Wylde, said."

All of which seems to indicate that our bicycle riding friends are set to return to their usual Tour de Farce of advocating the return of the horse-drawn buggies of a by-gone age. Their days of useful idiocy are about to be over, and once they are, their current putative allies will shake them off like a second snake's skin.