Governor Paterson Leans on Smokers, Soda Drinkers to Close Budget Gap

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Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, iStockphoto

Governor Paterson released a relatively austere budget proposal for the 2010–2011 fiscal year this morning, one that cuts about $1 billion each from health-care spending and school aid in an effort to close an estimated $7.4 billion budget deficit. Paterson also proposes a slew of new taxes and fees, including an additional $1 tax on cigarettes and a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sodas. Paterson would also legalize ultimate fighting and allow wine to be sold in grocery stores. Okay, so smoking and drinking soda=bad, beating each other up and drinking wine=good. Got it. [Daily Politics/NYDN]