Just Hand Over the Shovel, Governor

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In a speech before the Citizens Budget Commission last week, the Director of New York State's Division of the Budget, Paul Francis, indicated that the Empire State will likely face a budget deficit of at least $3.6 billion for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. One of the main factors contributing to that deficit is an expected slowdown in revenue associated with the financial services and real estate industries. In fact, according to Francis, during some periods, "Wall Street accounts for up to 20 percent of [state] revenues," leaving New York particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in those sectors of the economy. Despite this sobering news, Governor Eliot Spitzer continues to express his desire to cut taxes - and Republicans in the Senate seem bent on doing the same. While property taxes are clearly a hot-button topic in New York, one's first move to get out of a budget hole shouldn't be to dig deeper into it.

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