As we progress through the legislative session,  Unshackle Upstate will be taking positions in support of or opposed to legislation that is presented for consideration.  Many of our positions will appear on the Scorecard that we will use to recommend to all of you who should and should not return to Albany.  This is another step in our on-going effort to make sure that each and every voter that wants to be engaged and educated can do so through the work of Unshackle Upstate.

With that, please see the following Memo in Opposition to the new license plate charge that was contained in last year’s budget.  We were told that it would be removed, but unfortunately is it still there and the state will begin to collect the fee from you when you register your vehicle.

NY License Plate

Unshackle Upstate, a bipartisan coalition of over 70+ business and trade organizations representing a growing group of over 70,000 employers and employing upwards of 1.5 million people support the repeal of the $25 fee for the reissuance of license plates that was part of the 2009-10 Enacted State Budget.

Starting on April 1st, every New York motorists must pay a $25 fee for new license plates when their vehicle registrations are due.  This represents a $10 increase from the current price and a $19.50 increase since 2001.  Furthermore, if you want to keep your existing plate number, it will cost an additional $20.  This new and unnecessary license plate fee is in addition to the 25 percent increase in driver’s license and registration fees that took effect in August.

Moreover, in addition to the new DMV fees, the cost of using our cars on New York State roads and bridges has risen as well.  Recently, the fourth Thruway rate hike in five years went into effect, resulting in a 5 percent increase for all drivers.  This brings the cumulative increase since 2004 to 45 percent for passenger cars.  It is important to note that these toll and fee increases have a disproportionate affect on Upstate New Yorkers, who rely on their cars much more than downstate residents.

In November, after immense public pressure, Gov. Paterson admitted that the proposal was a “revenue grab” agreed to eliminate the new license plate fee requirement if the legislature could “identify real, responsible, recurring alternative savings measures” that would replace the projected $129 million in revenue to the state’s general fund.  Despite this new opportunity, the law remains unchanged and will take effect next month.  No such proposal has been put forward and the New York State taxpayers are set to incur yet another unnecessary tax burden in their everyday lives.

For these reasons, Unshackle Upstate strongly encourages the governor and legislature to implement a repeal of this onerous burden in the 2010-11 Enacted State Budget.

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