Paterson: Things Would Be Easier With a ‘Hand Back’

ALBANY—A day after he announced he would stall $750 million of payments to local governments and school districts, David Paterson was asked on CNBC if there was anything the federal government could do to alleviate New York’s cash crunch.

“Well New York got a very generous share of the stimulus package—$31 billion—and we couldn’t be more grateful to the White House for that,” Paterson said after delivering a speech at the New York Stock Exchange on rebooting New York’s economy. “However, there is a structural imbalance in a number of reimbursement formulas to the extent that in 2007 New York State paid $86.9 billion more in taxes than they got back in government. To put that into perspective, California was second—paying $62 billion more than they got back—but they have twice our population. So New York has really been the bailout package to the country for a long period of time, and it’s those payments that we don’t get back. We’re not looking for a hand out, we’re looking for a hand back.”

Paterson’s relationship with the White House has cooled since officials implied that they would prefer Paterson not seek election in 2010. Paterson has in the past complained that restrictions on executive pay imposed by the Obama administration tangibly affected New York’s tax revenues, which are derived from the bonuses. Paterson: Things Would Be Easier With a ‘Hand Back’