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Climate

NYC’s Climate Law A ‘Carbon Tax On The Middle Class’, Make Life Even More Expensive

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New York City is moving forward with several climate policies that are likely to make everyday life even more costly for the middle class in one of the country’s most expensive cities.

The city is aiming to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% come 2050, push a sweeping building electrification mandate known as Local Law 97, and impose an automobile traffic congestion fee, each of which will increase the costs of living or working in the nation’s largest city, especially for the middle class, energy and New York policy experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation. [emphasis, links added]

Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan already rank among the 15 most expensive places to live in the U.S., according to an analysis conducted by CNBC.

“The city is wealthy because, somewhere out there, people are producing energy, food, clothing, and so on, and people are trading all of that in New York,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow for the Institute for Energy Research, told the DCNF.

The city’s emissions target “will make things more expensive and drive people away to places like Florida,” he added.

That flight of capital would shrink the tax base, thereby straining the city’s finances further, Kish told the DCNF.

“People without the means, working people, do not have the opportunity to just pack up and leave,” Kish told the DCNF. “But it’s easy if you’re Mike Bloomberg.

Local Law 97, meanwhile, is poised to impose emissions standards that approximately 50,000 buildings in New York City will have to meet starting in 2024, with additional restrictions imposed starting in 2030, according to The New York Times.

Some buildings are easier to retrofit with the appropriate wiring and equipment necessary to comply than others, and a large share of the high costs incurred by landlords and building owners for coming into compliance will almost certainly be passed on to residents, Jane Menton, a mother who lives in a Queens co-op and has led a grassroots effort to fight against Local Law 97, told the DCNF.

“Progressives in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn are so afraid to go against the narrative that this rule is a climate solution… but it’s unaffordable to convert buildings to electric so they won’t convert to comply with the rule, they will just pay fines which will then allow the city to use the money to plug gaps in the budget,” Menton told the DCNF.

“The same politicians and advocates who claim to care about the city’s working class wrote a law that will push them out of their homes… functionally, this law is just a carbon tax on the middle class.”

Notably, other cities, such as Boston, have pushed for similar building electrification policies to fight climate change, and the Biden administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help state and municipal governments pursue policies that “decarbonize” buildings as well.

The New York City congestion pricing tax is promulgated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is technically not an agency operating under the auspices of the municipal government.

Congestion pricing is meant to reduce emissions and air pollution by charging drivers fees to enter certain sections of the city.

Specifically, the MTA has proposed to charge passenger cars $15 and trucks as much as $36 to be able to enter a large swath of Manhattan, according to local outlet NBC 4.

Read rest at Daily Caller

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