Repeal $10 License Plate Fee Increase

Date: 2010

Repeal of $10 License Plate Fee Increase
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

Unshackle Upstate, a bipartisan coalition of more than 70 business and trade organizations representing a growing group of more than 70,000 employers and employing upwards of 1.5 million people, support the repeal of the $25 fee for the reissue of license plates that was part of the 2009-10 Enacted State Budget.Starting on April 1, the fee for new license plates for New York motorists will increase from $15 to $25. This new and unnecessary license plate fee is in addition to the 25-percent increase in drivers' license and registration fees that took effect in August.

Moreover, in addition to the new DMV fees, the cost of using 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" and 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.