Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paterson Proposes More Cuts In Aid To Municipalities, Education. . .

. . .While Pledging No New Taxes
Who's Kidding Whom?

A 10% cut in the 2010-11 New York State budget in aid to counties, cities, towns and villages? And how does the Governor think these municipalities will make up the deficit? We'll clue you in. INCREASED PROPERTY TAXES!

A 4.5% cut in aid to education (meaning, local school districts, SUNY, CUNY) for 2010-11, this on top of cuts already in place for 2009-10. And how do you suppose school districts (all 124 of 'em here on Long Island) will make up the difference? INCREASED PROPERTY TAXES!

With no additional revenues from sources other than taxes (which tax base is steadily eroding), stimulus money from the feds quickly running out, and "zero-growth" on the economic front, where exactly does Governor Paterson think the money to finance education and run all of the varied operations of and services provided by local government will come from? Wait. We know. INCREASED PROPERTY TAXES!

Okay. The State of New York is in a bind. Aren't we all? Times are tough and, from all appearances, particularly here on Long Island, getting tougher.

Is Governor Paterson to blame? Well, not entirely.

Still, the proposed cuts would not only be "painful," as the Governor suggests, but devastating to local homeowners and businesses, forced to pick up the slack created, not necessarily by this administration, but by years, no, decades, of reckless spending, rampant borrowing, and a complete failure of oversight.

The Governor's proposed cuts -- to education, municipalities, health care, and some of the most basic and essential human services -- may well bail out New York, avoiding a default by the State on its obligations.

That said, who, dare we ask, will bail out New York's businesses and homeowners, who, here and now, can no longer shoulder the burden of outrageous property taxes, when the bottom line on that tax bill goes up, yet again?

Governor Paterson, we need real property tax relief, and we need it now!
- - -
Paterson Proposes $5 Billion in Cuts to Close Deficit
By Danny Hakim AND Sewell Chan

Updated, 1:26 p.m. ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson on Thursday proposed $5 billion in spending reductions over two years to close a gaping state budget deficit. The plan would slash spending on education and health care, but avoid tax increases.

“There are no taxes in this plan, nor will I tolerate taxes in any plan,” Mr. Paterson said in an address at the State Capitol. “This is a painful plan, but we will share the burden. All of us are going to have to sacrifice to save our state.”

The heart of the plan involves $3.8 billion in spending cuts for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years. The governor is seeking $1.8 billion in across-the-board spending reductions in the current fiscal year, which will end on March 30.

The figure includes $500 million in administrative cuts that Mr. Paterson announced this month.
The remaining $1.3 billion in cuts comes from a 10 percent reduction in state aid to localities, with a few exceptions, notably in the areas of property taxes and school aid, which would be reduced by a smaller amount.

“We have cut education by only 4.5 percent compared to 10 percent imposed on other agencies,” Mr. Paterson said, adding that the health care cuts would not affect “anyone currently on Medicaid.”

Mr. Paterson said that drastic cuts were “the only way to keep this state from going into default,” but he said he expected that “I am going to come under harsh criticism for putting out these proposals,” and added, “We understand how difficult this is.”

Mr. Paterson’s presentation at the Capitol was followed by remarks by Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and a presentation by the state budget director, Robert L. Megna.

Sewell Chan reported from New York City.


  1. Our local school districts, town and county governments need to make some cuts of their own. We can't wait around for Albany or Washington DC to fix our problems. Businesses and property owners can no longer stand for additional taxes.

    Let's stop the phony zero% increases and challenge our school districts, town (including special districts) and county governments to actually REDUCE their budgets 5% for next year.

    Trimming out 5% is entirely achievable given the tremendous waste in the system and would be a sign of good faith that they sympathize with the struggles of the average taxpayer.

  2. theres one of the major problems right there:

    why on earth are there 124 different school districts. surely some of them arent necessary and could be consolidated.

    the notion of "local control" has gotten totally out of hand. government and schools are the largest employers on long much longer can this go on?

    people are at the breaking point financially.

    paterson didnt have many options. the next one he has to do is furloughs and layoffs,and freezing the pensions and benefits.its coming,mark my words.