Today’s news:

Brooklyn Lawmakers Applaud Decision by Governor to Drop New License Plate Plan

If you go to the Web site of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the first thing you are likely to see is a shiny image of a brand new license plate, which the state had planned to issue to all vehicle owners beginning in April, 2010, at a cost of $25 per car.

However, bowing to growing political pressure, Governor David Paterson has expressed his intention to scrap the plan, which was projected to put some $130 million into the state’s coffers, which are badly in need of an infusion of cash, given the stark decline in tax receipts.

Just five days after the new license plates were unveiled, Paterson announced that, “If the legislature works with me, prior to the release of the 2010-11 executive budget, to identify real, recurring savings that will replace the revenue that would be lost, I will eliminate the new license plate requirement.”

In making the statement, Paterson stressed that the legislature needs to grapple with the increasing state deficit of $3.2 billion in the current fiscal year, with a deficit of $6.8 billion projected for the next fiscal year.

Brooklyn lawmakers saluted the change of heart.

“The economic downturn has affected us all, and we recognize the strain this plan would have on working families and small businesses across the state,” noted Assemblymember Alan Maisel, adding, “I pushed hard to roll back this requirement in order to lessen the financial burden that our state’s families already feel.”

State Senator Marty Golden -- who had started an online petition in opposition to the proposal -- concurred.

“Governor David Paterson has heard the voices of many New Yorkers who have sent a strong message that we will not accept another tax,” Golden remarked. “Enough is enough.How much more can New Yorkers be asked to sacrifice? It was a ridiculous idea and the Governor was correct to abandon this plan in the wake of the significant backlash.It would have cost New Yorkers financially and at the same time caused significant delays at local DMV offices.”

The plan to issue new license plates was one facet of a two-year $5.0 billion deficit reduction plan announced last month by Paterson to deal with fallout from the economic slowdown that has hit the state particularly hard. The largest segment of the deficit reduction plan is $3.8 billion in spending cuts over two years, with additional savings and revenue coming from a variety of other sources, including a tax penalty forgiveness program, administrative savings, and changes in the pension structure.

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