After wavering on the issue in recent weeks, Governor Paterson today seemed to rule out tax increases as part of the solution to the state’s growing budget problem — at least for the next 18 months.

“I don’t think there should be any taxes at this point and certainly not, for the 08-09 budget and the 09-10 budget, we would not consider taxes,” the governor said at a meeting with legislative leaders in New York City.  “The only thing I have said is that I’m not going to say  no to taxes, ever.”

No new estimate of the 2009-10 gap, but the reduced revenue estimates Paterson discussed today would indicate it’s grown to at least $7 billion to $8 billion.

Paterson’s formal statement and the DOB’s latest analysis of the situation today had these highlights:

  • The state budget shortfall for the current fiscal year has been re-estimated at $1.2 billion.
  • The governor will call a special legislative session for Nov. 18, just over six weeks from now, to consider $2 billion in budget reductions necessitated the by the continuing erosion in the state’s fiscal condition.
  • He’ll present his Executive Budget over a month early, on Dec. 16.
  • DOB now estimates that Wall Street bonuses will drop 43 percent in 2009; but Paterson said he personally believes the decrease will be more like 60 percent.

Meanwhile, it’s raining red ink in California, which may soon need a $7 billion federal loan to keep paying its bills.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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