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New York's Republican Party Calls New License Plates A "Stealth Tax"

ALBANY, NY (WSKG) - The head of the state’s Republican Party says there’s no need to require New Yorkers to buy new license plates beginning in 2020, if their current plates are still readable and in good condition.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration  has begun a contest to allow New Yorkers to choose among five different designs for new license plates to be issued beginning next year.  While the public can decide how the license plates look, they don’t have a say in whether they can keep their old plates. Beginning next April, anyone with the older blue and white license plates will have to turn them in and pay an additional $25 to $45 fee for a new one when their registration comes up for renewal. New York’s GOP chair Nick Langworthy said that’s unnecessary. “It’s another stealth tax, it’s another cash grab,” Langworthy said. “It’s standard operating procedure in Albany.” In a statement, John Flanagan, the leader of the state’s minority party Republicans, called it part of a “death by a thousand cuts” policy that includes a plastic bag ban and a possible fee on paper bags at the grocery store. Speaking in Western New York Tuesday, Cuomo said the new plates are not a "money grab." “Look, nobody wants to pay any money for anything. I mean, I don’t want to buy new plates either,” Cuomo said. Cuomo said the new plates are needed to work with the expansion of the state's EZ Pass system. "You need a plate that works with EZ Pass. If it doesn’t work with EZ Pass, then we have a real, talk about a money grab, we have the opposite problem. We’re going to have a real fiscal issue because we will have a deficit when it comes to the toll collection," Cuomo said.