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November 7, 2003

As poll shows New Yorkers prefer lower taxes, Senate reaffirms its commitment to no tax hikes

As a new poll showed that New Yorkers continue to prefer lower taxes and reduced government spending to higher taxes, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno reaffirmed his commitment to rejecting tax increases in 2004.

"We are not raising taxes, taxes are going to be reduced, we're going to stay with that,"Bruno (R-Rensselaer County) told New York Post reporter Fred Dicker on his WROW radio program Nov. 7.

"The Governor doesn't want to [raise taxes], we don't want to [raise taxes], the speaker [of the Assembly] doesn't want to [raise taxes], the people don't want [higher taxes]," Bruno added.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers raised by state sales tax and personal income taxes on upper-income earners by more than $2 billion.

Bruno's remarks came the same day Quinnipiac University released a poll showing that New Yorkers still strongly prefer cuts in government spending to tax increases. The results are virtually identical to a similar Quinnipiac poll from last December.

More than half of respondents (52 percent) to the poll said New York should cut government services and keep taxes at their present level, the poll showed. Only 36 percent said they preferred higher taxes to keep services at their present level.

Upstaters favored reduced taxes and government spending even more strongly than downstaters, the university said.

Respondents were not asked if they preferred reductions in New York's government spending and tax burden. New York leads the nation in both categories.

There is little new in the findings of the new Quinnipiac poll. In fact, when lawmakers raised taxes earlier this year, they ignored several polls, including one from Quinnipiac, that consistently showed New Yorkers preferred reductions in taxes and spending to tax increases: