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State budget harms middle class, small businesses with large hikes

Following rounds of secrecy and closed−door meetings, Gov. David Paterson, state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D−Manhattan) and state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) led the way in enacting the worst budget in the state’s history. The details and facts surrounding this reckless and fiscally irresponsible budget are bad for all New Yorkers.

The “three men in a room” state budget packs a walloping $8 billion tax and fee increase on New York’s families and small businesses. It spends an estimated $132 billion, an increase of 9 percent from the last fiscal year. That is a staggering amount of spending and taxing in any economic condition. Even state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the official charged with the state’s fiscal health, indicated this level of spending is unsustainable.

Just last week, nearly a month following the enactment of the budget, Paterson’s own budget officials outlined that the state’s fiscal woes will continue with multibillion dollar budget deficits for years to come.

In the city, a family is expected to pay anywhere from $4,700 to $5,000 more each year because of this budget loaded with hikes. Simply put, this state budget taxes and spends too much and fails to live up to the promise of reform and cooperation at a time when our state can least afford it. The Paterson−Silver−Smith budget will hinder New York’s economic growth and competitiveness and place a swift and strong recovery out of reach.

That is why I voted against this budget crafted by them. In fact, editorial boards across New York have near universally criticized the dysfunctional and secretive budget process and its disastrous outcome.

Do not be fooled by the negative mailers packed with distortions that you may have recently received in your mailbox. It is nothing but an attempt to misdirect attention from the fact that the 2009−10 state budget championed by Paterson, Silver and Smith will have a devastating affect on our future.

At the end of the day, I will continue to stand with New York’s middle−class families and small businesses in opposition to this risky fiscal scheme called the 2009−10 state budget.

Frank Padavan

State Senator, Bellerose

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