Disastrous State Budget Continues to Pile on More Taxes and Fees

George D. Maziarz

August 07, 2009

                           Drivers Licenses & Registrations to Increase 25% on September 1
            Every New Yorker who drives a car, truck, motorcycle, ATV, or boat will be paying more as the latest round of massive tax and fee hikes approved as part of the state budget takes effect on September 1.  Most vehicle-related fees will go up 25 percent for virtually every type of vehicle New Yorkers use every day.
            “These fee hikes are just one reason why this was a terrible budget and why I voted against it,” Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) said.  “People are getting hit every step of the way—license fees, registration fees, insurance fees, and even new license plate fees.”
            “People ask me ‘when is it going to stop?” Senator Maziarz said.  “I wish they could ask Senator Stachowski or Senator Thompson because this budget was approved only thanks to their ‘yes’ votes.  They are single-handedly responsible for allowing these fee hikes to take place.  Their actions raise the cost of living and doing business in Western New York.”
On September 1, 2009, the following motor vehicle registration fees will be increased:
·         Passenger vehicle registration fees increase from $44 to $55 (two year average depending on vehicle)
·         Commercial vehicle registration fees increase from $1.21 (per 500 lbs of vehicle weight) up to $1.51 at the low end of the range and increase from $11.50 to $14.38 (per 500 lbs) at the high end
·         Trailer registration fees will increase from an average of $34 to $42.50
·         Taxi registration fees, on average, will increase from $48 to $60
·         Average bus registration fees will increase from $73 to $91.25
·         Motorcycle registration increases from $14 to $17.50
·         All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) registration increase from $10 to $12.50
·         Average motorboat registrations will rise from $40 to $50
            In addition, fees will be increased to re-register vehicles, register custom vehicles, and make photocopies of motor vehicle documents.  Also, starting on April 1, 2010, New Yorkers obtaining or renewing their vehicle registration will be required to purchase brand new license plates, whether they need them or not, for $25 - a $10 increase.
            “These fees hit Western New Yorkers particularly hard,” Senator Maziarz said.  “Frankly, they could care less about these fees in New York City because no one owns a car.  So the downstate leaders who made this budget in secret saw an opportunity to take even more money out of our pockets and they took it.”
            Senator Maziarz voted against the state budget and proposed an alternative plan that would have avoided the tax and fees increases.  He also proposed amendments to the budget to eliminate the tax and fee hikes and restore the STAR property tax rebate checks that were eliminated in the budget.  The budget amendments were opposed by Senate Democrats.
            These new motor vehicle increases will cost the average upstate family more than $100.  In addition, drivers have to pay higher Thruway tolls.  Overall, the tax and fee hikes in the budget will cost the average New York family $2,400 more per year. 
            “Every month brings a new round of tax and fee hikes that Democrats in the Senate and Assembly forced on New Yorkers in the state budget,” Senator Maziarz said.  “This month it’s motor vehicle fees, next it will be hunting and fishing licenses.  Earlier this year it was higher taxes for wine and beer, internet purchases, and car insurance.  And the biggest hit will come this fall when homeowners don’t get their STAR rebate checks to help pay their property taxes.”
            The motor vehicle fee increases were included in the more than $8.5 billion in tax and fee hikes approved by Governor Paterson and Democrats in the Senate and Assembly as part of the 2009-10 state budget that is already $2.1 billion out of balance.