Officials question license plate replacement fees
NEW YORK STATE--Last Monday, Aug. 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide survey allowing residents to select the next license plate design for New York state. Included with the redesign was a new 10-year replacement program, requiring motorists to pay $25 for a new license plate if the current one they have is over 10 years old.
Lawmakers around the state have questioned the purpose of the new mandate.
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) released a statement on Tuesday, Aug. 20 saying in part, "the online promotion is a distraction from the governor's outrageous new license plate replacement fee, a charge that will be mandatory for three million New Yorkers beginning in April 2020."
The state says the new $25 fee "will be added to the cost of the vehicle owner's registration renewal. Customers may also keep their current license plate number for an additional $20 fee." The plan is set to go in place on April 1, 2020.
The governor's initial press release stated the replacement program will help make sure aging, oxidized, peeling and damaged plates are retired. The older blue and white design is targeted by the new measure, but the gold plates will also stop being issued in favor of the new design in 2020.
There are five new designs proposed for the new New York state license plates. Four are mostly white with blue numbers, and one is light blue with dark blue numbers. Three feature the Statue of Liberty; one shows Niagara Falls, Lady Liberty, along with the New York City skyline; and the other features the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Voting started last week and continues until Monday, Sept. 2. Voting can be done online at https://now.ny.gov/page/s/vote-for-the-next-nys-license-plate-design.
State Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) said, "the just-launched online voting 'opportunity,' is, plain and simple, Albanyspeak for, 'We're giving you a chance to tell us what tax hike looks best." He also highlighted that the "2019-20 budget relies on more than $1 billion in new taxes and fees to support significant new short- and long-term state spending."
Online voting requires an email address and postal zip code. An option box to receive updates from the governor's office is preselected.