Paterson Talks Down Tax Hikes

ALBANY—David Paterson says legislators have to make the “very tough decisions” about bridging a $2.1 billion budget deficit next month rather than raise more revenues.

“I think we’ve raised enough fees and we’ve raised enough taxes,” Paterson said at an event on Long Island. “Of course we raised taxes on the upper-income population, but the problem even doing that is that it drives the job creators out of the state and then the jobs go with them. So, we did that because we had a $4 billion gap in our budget deficit that grew between February and April, but at this point we’re going to have to tighten our belts. We have not had the problems that California has.”

He also said, “Legislators are going to have to be prepared to make some very tough decisions. If you don’t make the tough decisions now, they just wait for you and double-impact on what is a deteriorating state revenue forecast.”

The fiscal hawkishness is consistent with some of Paterson’s rhetoric in the past, but he has at times found it difficult to hold the line in practice.

Paterson Talks Down Tax Hikes