After the “withdrawal” of Bloomberg ally Caroline Kennedy, and slightly in advance of leaks that Kirsten Gillibrand would go to the Senate instead, Governor Paterson caught some flak from Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg complained about the $646 million that the Paterson cut from state funds to the city, saying it would hurt children the most: “We have got down to a level at this point where all the cuts from now on will be in the classroom.” The Mayor also warned about raising taxes on the rich. “Raising taxes on those with the flexibility to move their businesses, as was done in previous crises,” he said, “will lead to an exodus that will hurt us for decades and have devastating consequences for the entire state.” Bloomberg did not rule out raising taxes himself, but presumably the tax hikes will not not affect flexible businessmen.
Bloomberg wasn’t the only Mayor crying poor to Albany, but Mayors Robert Duffy of Rochester and Byron Brown of Buffalo did not ask for their cuts to be reversed, arguing instead that Albany should give them more control over their own revenue generation. Brown, for example, wanted permission to install red-light cameras to generate fines, and Duffy wants to be able to tax cell phone service.