Through a bipartisan effort, we, in the Assembly, have eliminated the requirement that all New York State vehicle owners must purchase new license plates. Although all New Yorkers will need to share the pain in plugging a budget deficit caused by an historic, worldwide recession, the new license plates requirement was simply wrong. The measure was slated to take effect April 1, 2010, but we will not allow that to happen.
The economic downturn has affected us all and we recognize the strain this plan would have on working families and small businesses across the state. I pushed hard to roll back this requirement in order to lessen the financial burden that our state’s families already feel.
In addition to elimination the new license plate re-issuance, I have rejected a laundry list of proposed nuisance taxes and fees during budget negotiations. Rejecting these proposals saved New York families more than $2.1 billion. This year’s budget rejected taxes on:
- digital downloads – saving New Yorkers $15 million;
- flavored malt beverages – saving New Yorkers another $15 million;
- cable, satellite television and radio services – saving New Yorkers about $136 million;
- non-diet soft drinks – saving New Yorkers $404 million;
- haircuts, nail salon visits and other personal services items – saving New Yorkers $78 million;
- movie tickets, sporting events and other entertainment-related purchases – saving New Yorkers $53 million;
- trout and salmon fishing stamps – saving anglers $3 million;
- store coupons – saving New Yorkers an estimated $3 million;
- a 4 percent sales tax increase on clothing and footwear under $110 – saving New Yorkers about $462 million;
- filing a paper tax return – saving New Yorkers $6.8 million; and
- capital improvements on homes – saving New Yorkers an estimated $120 million in 2009-10 and $160 million in 2010-11.
These regressive tax and fee hikes would have resulted in even more financial hardships for New Yorkers. I shall continue doing what I can to ensure that New York’s budget deficit is not balanced solely on the backs of New York’s working families.