A battle between the state and federal governments over tourism signs could cost New York $14 million in transportation aid.

The Federal Highway Administration is ordering the state to take down more than 500 signs by the end of September or face the loss of grant money from Washington.

The federal government has maintained that the "I Love New York" informational signs distract drivers. State officials have disagreed with that assessment.

Governor Cuomo went forward with the new promotional signage even after federal officials made clear that the would violate existing regulations.

The signs describe what's called "The New York State Experience" and call attention to attractions, history and recreational options. They also highlight an effort to promote New York foods and beverages.

The Reclaim New York Initiative issued a statement describing the squabble between the state and federal governments as "Sign-Gate."

The statement concluded New Yorkers "will likely pay the price" for the Cuomo administration's decision to fight federal highway guidelines.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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