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Cuomo bows to public pressure and drops requirement for New York car owners to buy ugly new license plates


Buckling under public pressure, Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday dropped his much-contested plan to require car owners to pay $25 for a new license plate if their current one is more than 10 years old.

The governor pitched the requirement when his administration launched an online poll that let residents vote on the state’s next plate design, but has since backtracked on the idea. Cuomo said some older plates are undetectable by automatic tolling technology, which could cost the state bundles of money.

The decision came the same day that a Siena College poll found that a vast majority of New Yorkers are opposed to the idea.

Many New Yorkers and lawmakers bemoaned the plan and called it a cash-grab by the Cuomo Administration.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the proposal has been dead for weeks, and that the state would seek different methods to ensure all license plates can be tracked by toll readers.

"Why Siena would spend its time polling outdated information is beyond me,” Azzopardi said.

The new license plates, which will begin to be rolled out in April 2020, will include clip art-esque imagery of the Statue of Liberty, Niagra Falls and the New York City skyline.