$15B Budget Hole Forces New York to Make Tough Choices

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Dec 15, 2008 9:06 AM
The state of New York is currently facing a $15 billion budget deficit and Governor David Paterson (D.) is heartsick over it.

To recoup costs he's proposing a $4 billion tax increase on a variety of goods and would like to cut $9 billion for Medicaid, education and benefits for union workers.

If his plan goes through, taxes will go up on Pepsi and Coke's non-diet soft drinks (his aides call this an "obesity tax"), health insurance, clothing, footwear and luxury goods. The Governor would also like to raise admission fees to New York City colleges and state parks.

“We’re going to try to remediate that with some other services to the colleges and universities, but when a person whose whole career has basically been for the advocacy of higher education, such as myself, has to take that kind of step, it gives you an idea of what kind of a number $15 billion is,” Paterson is quoted saying in the New York Times story about the state's budget woes.

Update:
Townhall Moderator extraordinaire Chris Regal informs me Paterson has canceled the annual ice skating rink in downtown Albany because it was too expensive. Regal estimates the rink costs about $150,000 per year to operate.