State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed UTV dealers to the Capitol and hosted a display of the popular outdoor side-by-side vehicles, part of an effort to increase awareness of the importance of outdoor riders to the Upstate economy and build support for her legislation to allow side-by-side UTVs to be legally registered in the state.
Tuesday’s visitors to Albany included representatives from the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (RHOVA), the New York State Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Association, as well as several dealers who brought along UTVs to display to legislators and visitors to the Capitol complex.
“For years, sportsmen and other New Yorkers who love the outdoors have been missing out on the many benefits of allowing UTVs to be registered—including registration revenue, sales tax and an economic boost from outdoors enthusiasts who are looking to enjoy our state’s many trails that are perfect for UTV use,” said Senator Ritchie.
“While every other state allows the increasingly popular side-by-side models, New York is clinging to outdated regulations that prevent their use.”
More than 3,000 UTV enthusiasts have joined Senator Ritchie’s push by signing an online petition calling on the Assembly to pass UTV legislation (S.1946). The Senate has passed the bill three years in a row, but the Assembly has failed to act.
“I am pleased that so many people have shown their support for this common sense legislation by signing my petition. I am hopeful that as this year’s legislative session draws to a close, the Assembly will act on this important measure that will help to further revitalize Upstate New York’s economy.”
According to dealers in other states, side-by-side models now account for more than 40 percent of sales. As a result of New York’s antiquated law, the state is losing out on significant registration revenue, taxes from the sales of these vehicles and hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased tourism spending by those who utilize UTVs.
Current state law only allows ATVs up to 1,000 pounds to be registered for use in New York. That limit excludes virtually all side-by-side models, which have become increasingly popular in recent years—especially with families and seniors.
Senator Ritchie’s bill to raise the weight limit and allow for UTVs to be legally registered in New York State has passed the Senate in each of the past three years, but the Assembly has failed to act even once, even rejecting an effort earlier this year by Senator Ritchie to include provisions of her bill in the new State Budget. Most recently, the legislation was cleared by the Senate Transportation Committee.