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Dinolfo & Finger Lakes County Clerks Oppose Passport Fee Increases

Thu, Feb 25 2010

Rochester – Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo, with the support of her fellow County Clerks throughout the region, announced her opposition to the U.S. State Department’s proposed fee increases for Passport applications and renewals. Under the proposed fee increases, the average family of four would have to pay over $500.00 to apply for Passports. The fee increases for Passport Books, which are commonly known as Passports, would increase on average by 35%. Fees for Passport Cards, which are much less common and cannot be used for air travel, would increase by nearly 20%. (See attached for a complete list of the proposed fee increases.)
 
“In these difficult times, our families and employers can’t afford another fee increase. In upstate New York, traveling back and forth to Canada is not a luxury. For many of our residents, it is a necessity to visit family and friends or to do business,” said Dinolfo. “While I appreciate the State Department has invested in improving security and customer service, I can’t understand why it needs these additional fees when it somehow has the money to build a billion-dollar embassy in London.”
 
County Clerk Dinolfo and the Finger Lakes Region of the New York State Association of County Clerks are unanimous in their opposition to State Department’s proposed fee increases. The group is asking the State Department to rescind the proposal and instead look for cost savings.
 
In addition, to its plans to build a $1 billion embassy in London, the State Department also received an additional $3 billion in funding from Congress last year.
 
“The State Department has already raised Passport applications fees twice in the last five years while receiving billions in additional funding from Congress,” said Sue Dwyer, Cayuga County Clerk. “It’s time that they look to cut costs before asking taxpayers to pay even more.”
 
"The federal government made Passports a necessity for travel," said Mike Jankowski, Wayne County Clerk.  "Now, they are asking our constituents to pay even more to obtain one. It's simply unfair. The administration should understand the burden this proposal creates.”