Lopez, Molinaro & Calhoun Hold Rally Against New DMV Fees

Joined by County Clerks, Local Officials and Tax Advocacy Groups at Press Conference in Kingston Today
September 1, 2009
Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R, C, I – Schoharie), Assemblyman Marc Molinaro (R, C, I – Red Hook) and Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun (R, C – Blooming Groove) were joined by county clerks from throughout the state as well as by county legislators and tax advocacy groups at a press conference to rally against the increased driver license and license plate fees imposed on all New York State drivers, some of which take effect today.

“Unfortunately, this scheme is just another way for Albany to balance a very unbalanced state budgetary deficit. Requiring residents with perfectly good licenses or even those who have recently registered a car to ‘update’ their car plates is an example of government excess and impracticality. Mandating that New York State drivers pay for it out of their own pockets, especially during these times when every penny counts, simply adds insult to injury,” said Assemblyman Lopez, at the rally held in Kingston today.

“We can’t afford to pay another dime. New Yorkers are willing to sacrifice, but we can no longer afford to be held financially hostage to the tax-and-spend policies that continue to cripple our economy and damage our communities. Hardworking, middle-class families and small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy as well as the heart of our communities, demand relief but instead they get increased fees on driver licenses and vehicle registrations. This is outrageous! These new motor vehicle fees should be repealed immediately and the state should look at its own bloated budget for areas to trim fat before it asks taxpayers to shoulder yet another fiscal burden,” said Assemblyman Molinaro.

“It is unacceptable that the ‘three men in a room’ from New York City running this state first pass a budget, which was beyond the means the state could afford, and then continue their spending spree with an MTA bailout, which picks the pockets of every single business and vehicle owner in the Mid-Hudson region. The taxes and fees starting to hit already overburdened families will force people from this area and, ultimately, the state if Governor Paterson does not listen to the voices of those he is taxing into poverty. It is time to stop the MTA from using Mid-Hudson taxpayers as their own personal ATM,” said Assemblywoman Calhoun.

As part of the enacted 2009-10 State Budget, driver license and vehicle registration fees will increase by 25 percent on September 1, 2009. Additionally, effective April 1, 2010, all registered vehicles will be required to get new license plates and renewed registrations. This will require all New York State motorists to pay not only the increased fees but also an additional $10 fee for the new license. This would total at least $130 for an average Class D license holder registering an average 3,500-pound car (an increase of over $35 from the current total of $95). All three members of the Assembly at today’s rally voted against this provision of the budget (A.159-B).

Nina Postupack, Ulster County Clerk , stated, “In these difficult economic times, DMV fee increases and the plate reissuance program places an increased financial burden on the taxpayers of Ulster County and upstate New York who depend on their cars and trucks for their transportation and livelihood.

M. Indica Jaycox, Schoharie County Clerk, stated, “I stand in agreement with my local legislators, and many other New York State County Clerks, who are opposed to the State DMV’s plan to reissue a new style of license plate in 2010. I do not feel the timing is right, given that all licensing and registration fees are already being increased as of today, September 1, 2009. Our motorists are facing hard economic times on many fronts right now, including the fee increases I just mentioned. To also require them, by law, to pay a new plate fee on top of their registration renewals is just unfair and a bad idea. As always, the folks who least can afford an extra fee will be hardest hit and I simply cannot support this new plate plan and accompanying fee at this time.”

Mike Flynn, Greene County Clerk, stated, “As the official on the front line interacting with the citizens of Greene County, I have seen firsthand how the economic downturn of a lifetime affects my constituents in Greene County. I must report that the license plate reissuance slated for 2010 will create a severely negative impact on the vast majority of the people in Greene County. My constituents in many cases cannot afford the 25 percent increase in all DMV fees instituted on September 1, 2009; to unnecessarily issue new plates in this economic environment should not take place. This is not a fee that is avoidable in an area that has virtually no public transportation. I would ask the Governor and Legislature to reconsider this effort.”

Donna L. Benson, Orange County Clerk, stated, “My constituents in Orange County have been completely blindsided by these new fee hikes for car and license plate registrations. In addition, the plate reissuance places a greater strain on people who live on a fixed income during these tough economic times. I urge this administration to reconsider this latest proposal for the sake of local taxpayers.”