New York Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo emerged from a private meeting with David Paterson, the state’s current chief executive, vowing to pursue caps on taxes and spending that Paterson advocated.
Cuomo, 52, a Democrat and son of three-term Governor Mario Cuomo, won 62 percent of the vote in the Nov. 2 election with a promise to reduce state spending.
“No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes,” Cuomo said at a news conference with Paterson today. “That would be counterproductive for the state. You will force an increase in New Yorkers who are fleeing the state because they don’t want to pay the tax rate.”
Paterson, 56, a Democrat who dropped out of the governor’s race, said he would close a shortfall in the current budget by the time Cuomo takes office Jan. 1.
“I feel very assured being replaced by someone I think is going to do an excellent job,” Paterson said.
“If he had walked in with a baseball bat, I might have thought a little differently," he added, referring to Republican candidate Carl Paladino’s threat to bring one to Albany if elected governor.
As governor, Cuomo will confront a $9 billion deficit in the state’s projected $144 billion budget for next year. He’ll need to propose a spending plan within weeks to meet the April 1 start of the fiscal year for the nation’s third most-populous state.
Tax collections for this fiscal year are now forecast at $61.4 billion, down $343 million from August estimates, the Division of Budget said in a report Nov. 1. The budget, including decreased federal aid, is now estimated at $135.3 billion. The state’s deficit is up from $8.2 billion previously estimated, according to the report.
Cuomo campaigned on a promise of no personal or corporate tax increases, and a pledge to cap property-tax increases at 2 percent a year or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Local voters could override the limits with a 60 percent vote favoring higher taxes. Paterson advocated similar restraints that were rejected by teachers, public-employee and health care unions that spent more than $1 million on television commercials opposing his policies last year.