Gov. Andrew Cuomo thinks 10-year-old license plates are an eyesore. So he wants all motorists to buy new New York license plates starting in April.
But residents and state legislators quickly called it another unnecessary government "money grab."
New York license plates will get a makeover, and the state has asked residents to vote for their favorite design, as reported here by Daily Voice.
The design with the most votes will become the state’s official license plate, becoming available to motorists in 2020. These will replace the Empire blue and white plates, the majority of which are more than a decade old. There are five designs to choose from, and state residents can cast their votes until Labor Day.
The idea immediately drew the ire of the public and state senators from both political parties.
Sen. David Carlucci, a Democrat who represents Westchester and Rockland counties, said, “Hardworking New Yorkers should not be burdened with this unnecessary cash grab by the state. A required fee to replace old license plates is arbitrary and does not in any way benefit drivers.”
And Sen. Sue Serino, a Republican who represents Putnam and Dutchess counties, said, “This is a money grab, plain and simple."
A $25 license plate replacement fee will be added to the cost of the vehicle owner's registration renewal. As estimated $75 million could be collected assuming 3 million drivers with older plates comply with the mandate.
Cuomo defended the cost, saying "Nobody wants to pay any money for anything. I mean I don't want to buy new plates either, but it is 10 years."
Cuomo said the new plates, regardless of the design chosen, will need to work better. The last edition is prone to peeling and fading, making it difficult to read for cashless tolls and law enforcement, the governor said.
Daily Voice readers aren't buying it:
Elizabeth Mastrocinque said, "Why does NYS have to spend the taxpayer’s dollar so frivolously? We do not need new vehicular license plates. We should have been able to vote on changing the name of the Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge rather than a new license plate.
"Gov. Cuomo took it upon himself to rename the bridge without input from the taxpayers who are paying for it! I’ll bet the next thing he will do is to name the Walkway over the Hudson after his mother," Mastrocinque wrote.
A reader from Dutchess County called it "another way to waste taxpayers money!"
And Robin Tanner of Putnam County asked, "What happened the the new plates that I just got that are gold and blue?????"