Gov. Pataki boldly rules out tax hikes to fix state\’s overspending problem.

WASHINGTON – In a recent move demonstrating remarkable fiscal restraint, Gov. Pataki of New York announced he would not endorse tax hikes to counter the state\’s fiscal deficit. Instead of increased taxes, Gov. Pataki has outlined a budget plan to decrease governmental spending and offer a more efficient and smaller government

The economic downturn since September 11, 2001 has the New York state government facing a $10 billion budget crisis for the 2003 fiscal year and an additional $2 billion debt from the 2002 session. But rather than instituting "job killing taxes," Gov. Pataki has vowed to reduce the size of the government by cutting programs.

"Tax hikes are always tempting solutions for short-term budget problems, but they end up stifling future economic growth," said tax advocate Grover Norquist who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington D.C. "As we\’ve seen in California this year, many legislators have opted for quick fix tax hikes, not a meaningful discussion of excessive government spending which causes these problems."

Despite governmental downsizing, Gov. Pataki has eased fears of citizens in New York City (which is also suffering from a $500 million debt) by announcing that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will provide the city with more than $500 million in extra revenue from the authority\’s leases on John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports.

To increase the state revenue without increasing taxes, Gov. Pataki has also outlined plans to increase tuition for the State University of New York by $1400 for the fall 2003 semester. This would be the fist tuition hike in the state since 1995.

"Unfortunately we have seen too many states dealing with budget crises by hiking taxes this session," continued Norquist. "But raising taxes will only send economic activity elsewhere, causing long-term problem for these states. Gov. Pataki\’s bold leadership in this area has created a model for the other 49 states to follow."