What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

January 2, 2003

Council urges Governor Pataki to restrain spending, reject higher taxes in 2003 budget

New York State should restrain state spending and reject higher taxes in crafting a 2003 state budget in challenging fiscal circumstances, The Business Council has advised Governor George Pataki.

Noting that tax cuts and spending restraint in the mid-1990s helped reverse historic job losses of the early 1990s, Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh's Dec. 23 letter to Governor Pataki said lawmakers should keep this progress in mind in shaping the state budget.

"Recognizing how far we've come is especially important because of its implications for where we go from here," Walsh wrote.

Walsh cited a new analysis by The Public Policy Institute showing New York's "tax gap" - the difference between New York's state and local tax burden and the national average - at its lowest point since the 1970s. "Measured as the proportion of personal income, in fact, our extra tax burden is smaller then it has three decades," the letter said.

"To be sure, taxes are still high in New York -- particularly local taxes," the letter said. "But it's important for New Yorkers to recognize the truly historic change that has occurred in Albany. We've been doing our best to call attention to that fact, and will continue to do so."

The letter urged Governor Pataki to make a strong case for spending restraint across the board "so that we can only avoid tax increases to keep moving forward and cutting the cost of government."

The letter also urged Governor Pataki to:

"Our state faces great challenges. Governing in tough time such as these is the test of real leadership. We join you in the companies that New Yorkers can and will confront our challenges successfully -- just as we have in the past," the letter said.