Parking in one of New Jersey’s six largest cities could be a bit more expensive under a bill the state Assembly approved on Monday.
Assembly Bill 5070 would allow any town with over 100,000 residents to impose a 3.5 percent tax on parking, in order to finance projects improving pedestrian access to mass transit.
Only six cities in New Jersey meet that mark – Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison and Woodbridge.
“What this will help in communities is help provide accessibility to mass transit,” Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, D-29th District and the sole Assembly sponsor, said prior to the vote. “We have the airport in our community, we have theaters, and we have big corporations. This will help the constituents in my district.”
Speight’s district includes several swathes of Newark.
The tax could not be applied towards parking for special events. Residents would be eligible for a discount of up to eight percent under the bill.
Lawmakers narrowly approved A5070 in a 41-32 vote along party lines, while the Senate version, Senate Bill 3507, has not yet been assigned to a committee.
On Monday morning, the measure drew out the opposition of Republican lawmakers, who decried it as another expense for New Jersey residents.
“All of these taxes make New Jersey more unaffordable,” Assemblyman Tony Bucco, R-25th District, said Monday in a statement. “It is going to hurt commuters and tourists who visit the cities. We can’t keep going back to the well. It’s death by a thousand cuts.”