Jacobs Calls for Public Hearings on New License Plates

Says Governor’s costly proposal raises serious questions that must be answered before charging motorists

(Buffalo, NY) — State Senator Chris Jacobs (R,C,I) is calling for the New York State Senate’s Transportation Committee to hold public hearings to determine whether or not the Governor and the Department of Motor of Vehicles are justified in requiring New York State motorists to begin purchasing new license plates next year.

In a letter to Committee Chair Senator Tim Kennedy, Jacobs wrote “Like most major policy initiatives that are advanced through administrative measures as opposed to the legislative process, this requirement raises a number of serious questions that should be addressed before being forced upon already overburdened taxpayers.”

Governor Cuomo’s recently announced proposal will require all New York State drivers whose license plates are more than ten years old to purchase a new one for $25, regardless of the condition of their license plates.  Drivers would also be required to pay an additional $20 if they would like to keep their old plate number.  The new fees are anticipated to generate an additional $75 million in revenue for the state, a figure that Jacobs says he believes is the real reason for the Governor imposing the new license plate requirement.

“As a former Erie County Clerk who ran Auto Bureaus, I know full-well how many ridiculous fees and taxes the state imposes on drivers,” said Jacobs.  “This is just another example of a Governor who spends too much and taxes too much taking more hard-earned money from overburdened taxpayers.”

Jacobs, who is a member of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, said he believes the public deserves more transparency and a better explanation of the rationale behind the need for new license plates.  A frequent critic of the Governor and his state agencies circumventing the legislature to impose major policy initiatives, the Senator said public hearings would also help inform lawmakers on their need to intervene legislatively.

“Taxpayers are not well served when this administration governs by executive order,” said Jacobs.  “If ever there was a situation where I believe the legislature should assert its authority to hold state government accountable, this is it,” he concluded.