New York Eliminates 57 Nuisance Fees on Ski Lifts, Lasers

ALBANY (AP) -

New York is eliminating dozens of small fees the state had imposed on such random things as potato inspections, ski lifts and workers’ compensation disputes involving podiatrists.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration detailed the 57 so-called nuisance fees on Tuesday. They were included in the state budget approved by lawmakers this month.

While the fees didn’t generate that much in revenue for the state — about $3 million in a budget of $142 billion — they created headaches for the many businesses forced to pay the fees, which ranged from $5 to $600.

“These nuisance fees created unnecessary red tape and placed an undue burden on businesses, while at the same time resulted in no significant revenues for the state,” Cuomo said in a statement listing the abolished fees. “This action will eliminate unnecessary costs and paperwork, helping to allow these businesses to reinvest and grow in New York.”

Many of the fees are obscure, including a $50 charge to new trucking companies; fees for required inspections of ski lifts and antique and miniature boilers; a $600 laser regulation permit fee; a $100 duty imposed on companies who hire home-based jewelry makers and a $34 seed potato inspection charge.

Others included a $400 license fee for apartment information vendors and a $10 charge for being added to a list of individuals who do not wish to be contacted by licensed real-estate professionals.

Many of the fees related to worker’s compensation claims, including a $5 fee on any dispute over services provided by a podiatrist, chiropractor or psychologist.

Cuomo also used his line-item veto power to reject 184 provisions in the budget. His office announced the vetoes on Monday, the deadline for him to act.

The rejected items include a $22 million upgrade to a stadium at SUNY Stony Brook named after state Sen. Kenneth LaValle and money for onion research at Cornell University.

Many of the vetoes were done to eliminate unnecessary budget language or otherwise clean up the document. Some related to provisions that duplicate spending elsewhere in the budget, or to items from past year budgets that have already been fully funded.