Leader Kolb, Sen. Ortt Call For Legislative Action Against Gov’s Unnecessary $25 Tax On New License Plates

‘This Is A Cheap, Shameless Money Grab That Does Nothing But Harass New York Taxpayers Even More.”
August 28, 2019

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and Sen. Robert Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda) hosted a press conference today announcing their legislation to protect New York drivers from Gov. Cuomo’s mandated $25 fee on new license plates. The bills (S.6663) would prohibit the state Department of Motor Vehicles from requiring a fee when the design of the state license plate is changed.

“At a time when New Yorkers are facing one of the worst tax climates in the nation, and after millions of residents have already fled its toxic economy, the governor has, unbelievably, invented a new way to drive away our tax base,” said Leader Kolb. “This is a cheap, shameless money grab that does nothing but harass New York taxpayers ever more. I stand firmly against this proposal and commend Sen. Ortt for taking on this outrageous proposal in the Senate.”

Last week, the governor announced all license plates more than 10 years old – like the traditional blue and white versions, as well as the more current gold plates – will be subjected to the replacement requirement. The governor’s plan imposes a $25 fee, which is the maximum allowed by law for new plates, in addition to registration renewal costs. Drivers who want to keep their license plate number will also be forced to pay an extra $20 under his proposal.

“This proposal by the governor is a blatant money grab. If the state requires specific plates for electronic tolling purposes, then the state should be providing renewed plates free of charge,” said Sen. Ortt. “It is not on the residents of this state, who are already nickel and dimed daily, to subsidize an ineffective implementation of electronic tolling. The fact that New York State would charge $25 to $45 for a product that costs no more than $2 to make, illustrates that this is less about ensuring motorists pay their tolls and more about creating a $350 million windfall for the state’s coffers. It’s unacceptable, and the residents of this state are smart enough to recognize a scam when they see one.”

Gov. Cuomo opened up the redesign process to New Yorkers via an online vote to select the next plate design. However, the tactic was clearly an attempt to distract from the true intent of the proposal, to squeeze New Yorkers out of their hard-earned money.

“As the governor continues to abuse his power, it is absolutely critical the Legislature step in to protect New Yorkers and put a stop to proposals such as this ill-conceived new tax that syphons money out of taxpayer’s pockets,” added Leader Kolb.