State lawmakers are refusing to vote on a controversial plan to ease traffic gridlock in New York City by charging drivers to enter certain neighborhoods.
The plan, unveiled last year by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was not scheduled for a vote on Monday ahead of a midnight deadline.
Supporters of the plan, which sought to raise funds for mass transit through so-called congestion pricing, said it would reduce pollution by encouraging more commuters to take the bus or subway. More than 250,000 workers travel into the city every day, according to U.S. Census data.
City Councilman Tony Avella and other opponents said the proposal amounted to an unfair tax on commuters, delivery truck drivers and local small-business owners. The Queens Chamber of Commerce, which rallied opposition to the plan, estimated it would cost the city $1.5 billion in economic activity. In a study titled "A Cure Worse than the Disease," the business group claimed up to 15,000 jobs would be lost for every 20,000 fewer cars entering the city's business district.
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine had threatened to sue the city to protect drivers.