"We said when the current budget was being implemented that the highest tax increase in state history ... would not lead to a balanced budget and, lo and behold, here we are with a budget gap approaching $3 billion in the current fiscal year," said Kenneth Adams, head of the state Business Council.
To handle a deficit of nearly $18 billion, the Legislature and governor implemented $7 billion in new or increased taxes and fees, including a higher income†tax†for the wealthy. State revenues are 36 percent below conservative projections so far this year, and the once-balanced budget is $2.1 billion short.
Paterson plans to call the Senate and Assembly into special session this month to tackle the deficit. It's unclear how they will do that, but the governor has pledged not to increase taxes and fees. Legislative leaders have said they oppose raising taxes and fees, too. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, has said he doesn't want to bring the Assembly back to Albany unless there's a deal.† Read more.