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From the Desk of Senator Carl Marcellino: August 14, 2009

Drivers Licenses and Registrations to Increase 25 Percent on September 1

If you drive a car, you will pay more to get or renew your license and register the vehicle. If you own a boat, an ATV or other vehicle, it will cost you more not only to register them, but to transport them as well, as fees on trailers will go up.

The motor vehicle fee hikes will hit Long Islanders the hardest because cars are not a luxury, they are an everyday necessity. People depend on them to get to work, go to school, shop and get around their communities. I voted against every one of these tax and fee increases. New Yorkers clearly have had enough.”

I voted against the state budget and proposed an alternative plan that would have avoided the tax and fees increases. I 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 Long Island family more than $180. In addition, Long Island drivers have to pay increased tolls.

Registration fees are scheduled to increase Sept. 1, 2009 for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, trailers, taxis, buses, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, construction vehicles, motorboats and custom vehicles. Drivers licenses and registration fees will go up by 25 percent, creating an additional cost to New York drivers projected to be almost $152 million over the next two years. The cost of a driver’s license will also increase 25 percent starting Sept. 1.

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.

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.

I did not support the tax and fee increases in the budget and I will not support more tax hikes to close the budget gap. We have to reduce taxes and get state spending under control.