Facing an uphill battle in Albany to win renewal of New York City's former commuter tax, the Bloomberg administration is floating a new "tax reform" idea that can only be described as breathtakingly wrongheaded.
You wouldn't know it from the gubernatorial campaign commercials, but New York state is facing an enormous budget gap next year. By far the toughest challenge facing the winner of the Nov. 5 election will be to close that gap without derailing a still-wobbly state economy.
Much of Gov. Pataki's proposed state budget (his costly expansion of health care, in particular) is a far cry from the leaner, cleaner fiscal plans of his first term. But in at least one crucial respect, New York's revenue shortfall has prompted a welcome return to his budgetary roots: For the first time in seven years, the governor is launching a concerted effort to reduce the size of the state work force.
In the weeks leading up to the original September 11th primary date, the mayoral candidates would occasionally acknowledge that their plans might have to change if New York City encountered a full-blown recession.