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December 9, 2003

Governor says his budget will 'absolutely not' propose tax increases

Governor George Pataki today said that his 2004 budget would "absolutely not" include any proposals to increase taxes.

"Our tax burden is too high and I think it was a mistake to raise taxes last year," the Governor said at a Dec. 9 press conference. "And we certainly are not going to propose any new taxes this year."

Asked how he would react if the Legislature tries to postpone expirations dates on any tax, he said: "I will oppose that. I will oppose that."

Earlier this fall, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver separately voiced similar sentiments.

"We are not raising taxes, taxes are going to be reduced, we're going to stay with that,"Bruno (R-Rensselaer County) told Albany radio station 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.

On Oct. 13, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he saw no need for New York State to increase taxes next year.

"Having done a temporary increase last year, I don't think we should be going back to the well this year," he said.