NY to redesign highway signs after feds docked state $14 million

'I Love NY' signs costing New York $14 million in federal funding

Cuomo administration says 'I Love NY' road signs will be replaced after feds threatened to hit with $14M fine

That means that many residents of high-tax states such as NY will likely take the standard deduction, which was doubled by the law, rather than itemize on their federal returns.

Administration officials said the sign campaign had run "its useful course" and will be replaced by new tourism initiative in time for the summer season.

The hundreds of tourism signs the Cuomo administration installed along New York's highways could wind up costing the state $14 million in federal funding.

In 2013, federal officials denied a Cuomo administration request to place the tourism signs along the Thruway and other roadways.

"The governor should use his campaign account to pay back the taxpayers for the $8 million he spent on the signs and cover the $14 million in federal aid we are now losing", he said. Federal officials told Cuomo to remove them because they were unsafe, but he refused. "The new campaign will be 'NY has it all!'"

The Cuomo administration gave way to the feds and announced a plan to remove the controversial "I Love NY" signs in order to avoid a $14 million fine for New York State.

"In addition to the noncompliance issues. each of these signs is on large supports and structures which create obstructions within the roadside environment that could pose safety risks", Brandye Hendrickson, acting highway administrator, wrote in the letter.

Joseph Morrissey, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, downplayed the highway administrator's letter, saying it "is part of the discussion process and in no way represents the end of the dialogue".

State officials credited the signs with driving up tourism and said the new campaign will carry the theme of "NY has it all!"

Karas and Driscoll said the state plans to reuse materials from the current signs to install the new signs. Since the Governor initiated this branding effort, the number of tourists to New York State has increased by 18 percent and the direct economic impact of tourism on the State has skyrocketed by more than 20 percent.

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