Want to get a sense of how "Green" policies work? If you look at the GreenR plan, ICLEI policies and the words of the head of the group calling itself the Regional Planning Association, you will see various ideas to reduce carbon emissions all of which are based on making it more expensive to own a car. In touting ICLEI's work in New York City known as PlaNYC, our Green Mayor always seems to leave out that the first major initiative of his pals at ICLEI in New York was to propose congestion pricing:
New York congestion pricing was a proposed traffic congestion fee for vehicles traveling into or within the Manhattan central business district of New York City. The congestion pricing charge was one component of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to improve the city's future environmental sustainability while planning for population growth, entitled PlaNYC 2030: A Greener, Greater New York.
The Brooklyn Paper reported at the time:
...regular motorists would pay the $8 fee, while truck drivers would pay $21. Drivers moving within the zone would pay $4. The fee would not apply to drivers who use the Brooklyn Bridge to connect directly to the FDR Drive, but it is unclear how congestion pricing would affect Manhattan Bridge drivers, who do not have a direct connection to the highway and enter Manhattan on Canal Street, which is within the $8 zone. Instead of tollbooths, there would be a network of cameras enforcing compliance.
Our Green Mayor also fails to mention the plan was hooted down by NYC residents who balked at the price tag, by representative of the outer boroughs or a report by Richard Brodsky that found it would increase air pollution in the four other boroughs, was a regressive tax, would not deliver the promised environmental benefits and was generally not very well thought out. Sound familiar?
If approved and implemented, it would have been the first such fee scheme enacted in the United States.Nonetheless the proposal did not succeed as it was never put to a vote on the Assembly.
Now we have yet another plan justified by helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions and providing support for public transit. So, if I live in New Rochelle and work in White Plains WHY am I subsidizing rail service from Port Jervis to Manhattan? Is this about fresh air or about getting more money to pay the bloated salaries and benefits of the MTA union workers?
New York's 9 million drivers are furious because in a rush to raise money -- and to make it seem like they weren't raising taxes -- the Legislature increased fees on just about everything having to do with driving.
* The cost of license plates went from $15 to $25
* Driver licenses from $50 to $64.50
* Car registrations from $44 to $55
* And when you register your car you have to pay a county "use tax" of $10 to $60
And there's another new fee you probably don't know about. If you live in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority region it will cost you an extra $50 to register your car. For the privilege of driving you pay a transit surcharge.
How many vehciles are registered in New York State? According to the DOT, over 11mm (as of 2003)
How many carbon-emitting vehicles will these new taxes take off the road? None.
But the State of New York just went into your wallet for an extra ($10 + 14.50 + $11) + [10 to 60] x 11mm.
Or roughly $720,000,000 in new fees -- and this is a regressive tax, hitting everyone equally and therefore hitting lower-income and middle-income families harder. So, while they talk about a "millionaire's tax" in ALbany (that starts around $200,000), they are soaking everyone.