County Clerk, Legislature Come Out Against State-Mandated License Plate Exchange Fee

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Clerk and Legislature Introduce Petition to Waive Fee


Niagara County Clerk Joseph A. Jastrzemski and Republican members of the Niagara County Legislature are decrying Governor Cuomo’s new license plate initiative that imposes a mandatory license plate replacement beginning in 2020 along with a mandatory replacement fee.

Jastrzemski and members of the county legislature have introduced a petition urging the governor to waive the $25 fee.  According to Jastrzemski, residents will be able to sign the petition at any of the three DMV office locations.  In addition, residents will be able to access the petition via the Niagara County Clerk website by the end of next week.

“The mandatory license plate exchange which has been imposed on New York State residents is nothing more than a state money grab,” said Jastrzemski.  “Governor Cuomo recently defended his plan by suggesting that EZ Pass scanning devices are unable to read current license plates― an issue I have yet to hear anyone speak of.”

The new license plates will be printed in April 2020 and replace the current “Empire Gold” plates which themselves were only issued ten years ago.  Drivers renewing their registrations in April 2020 will have a $25 plate replacement fee added to the cost of the renewal or they can pay $20 fee in order to keep their current plates. There are over 14 million registered vehicles in New York State using the low-end cost of $25 per replacement. With those figures, the revenue generated would be upwards of $350 million.

Earlier today, Senator Rob Ortt announced at a press conference that he is bringing forth a bill opposing the state mandated license plate replacement and calling for the fee to be waived.

One of the members of the county legislature joining the opposition is Niagara County Legislator Rebecca Wydysh, R-Lewiston, who chairs the Community Services Committee.

“The Niagara County Legislature fully supports Senator Ortt’s decision to oppose this shortsighted action of Governor Cuomo’s administration,” Wydysh said.  “I will also bring forth a resolution urging that the fee be waived so that our residents do not have to bear the weight of an unnecessary financial burden.”


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