Pataki's NYC aid proposal criticized

(08/10/03) THE BRONX - After spending months trying to dig the city out of a financial crisis, Mayor Bloomberg says Governor Pataki is trying to undo his carefully balanced budget. Last week, Pataki rejected a deal between the city and the state to refinance city debt by selling bonds. The deal was approved by the state legislature before Pataki's veto. The governor offered an alternate city aid plan, but it was rejected immediately by the mayor.

The original deal would refinance $2.5 billion in city debt over the next 30 years. Pataki says the refinancing is irresponsible because it pushes off debt for future generations. His compromise would pay the debt off faster and shift the costs of some city bonds to state taxpayers.

Pataki's plan has city officials outraged. They say taxes can not be raised any higher and the slightest budget imbalance would mean cuts to necessary services.

The city says the governor's actions are illegal. They pledge to fight him all the way to court to protect the financial interests of the city.

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