Assemblyman says 12-county MTA region additional fee increases “particularly egregious”
Assemblymen Marc Molinaro (R,C,I-Red Hook) and Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) today joined forces with three mid-Hudson Valley County Clerks to denounce and call for the immediate repeal of new license and registration fees that were enacted in the 2009-2010 state budget. These new fees are particularly egregious in the 12-county Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) region already burdened with a payroll tax implemented earlier this year as part of the state bailout of the failing agency.
“To expect Hudson Valley residents to pay more during this time of great economic uncertainty is simply ludicrous. They need to drive in order to provide for themselves and their families and to ask them to shell out more in the form of license and registration fees is counterproductive. We should be giving these overwhelmed citizens a break by scaling back these fees and eliminating the oppressive payroll tax,” said Molinaro.
“People are just now beginning to feel the effects of a budget, rubber stamped by the gang of three that was the worst budget in New York State history. These new fees and taxes are disproportionately going to kill middle-class families who are already strapped in a bad economy. Taxpayers statewide should research how their hometown legislator voted on this budget, and if their Senator or Assemblyman voted in favor of this bad budget, with all of these new taxes and fees, then they should vote their ‘In’ out,” said Ball, who voted against the entire 2009-10 State Budget.
Effective September 1 driver’s license and vehicle registration fees will increase 25 percent, which means an average class D driver’s license will go from $50 to $64.50 and registering a car weighing 3,500 pounds will increase from $45 to $56. Adding insult to injury, effective April 1 of 2010 all registered vehicles will be required to get new license plates and renewed registrations forcing motorist to pay the new fees plus an addition $10 fee for a new license.
In the 12-county MTA region, which includes Dutchess and Putnam counties, there will also be a $16 supplemental fee on all driver’s licenses, bringing the cost for a class D license to $80.50. There is also a $50 supplemental fee for all vehicle registrations, making a 3,500 pound vehicle cost $106.50. This doesn’t include any additional county taxes and fees that might be tacked on.
“The DMV fee increases adopted by Governor Paterson and legislative leaders are unconscionable. These actions are regressive, hurting those who can least afford to pay. The increases will also cripple small business owners at a time when they can least afford it. Higher fees paid to the state will slow the economy when we should be building the economy,” said Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall.
“Because I am responsible for providing Department of Motor Vehicles’ services at the county level, I have face-to-face contact with citizens on a daily basis,” said Columbia County Clerk Holly Tanner. “These citizens are concerned – a concern that I share. Each time they visit our office, they are told that the state is asking for more money from their wallets through these unfair fee increases in order to pay for New York’s irresponsible spending. It’s a travesty!”
“These fee increases, especially the proposed license plate exchange is costly, redundant and may cause chaos amongst our drivers whose plates are tied to parking permits, EZ-Pass and other transportation related activities,” said Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant. “I believe that these fee increases are unnecessary and will impose additional financial hardships on Putnam County and New York State residents already struggling under a high tax burden and the weak economy. This is nothing but a ploy by Governor Paterson to pad the state coffers.”
“People should be outraged,” said Molinaro. “The state continues its effort to take water from a stone. People will pay, because they have no alternative, but this means they will spend less elsewhere further stifling our economy. The state must immediately repeal these fees and address Albany’s spending addiction for the sake of people struggling to make ends meet.”