“Governor David Paterson delivered his proposed 2010-2011 budget today, and sent a clear message to all New Yokers that we must learn to do more with less.  I applaud the Governor’s efforts to reduce state spending, place a moratorium on unfunded mandates and close the budget gap.  I know this process could not have been an easy one to complete, and I thank the members of his Administration for their stellar work.

In the same breath, however, I must part ways with Governor Paterson on his beverage tax proposal.  The idea that the Governor would resurrect the soda tax, clearly indicates that we are in grave fiscal times and must find revenue to close the budget gap.  However, in a desperate attempt to find revenue, this proposal has been floated without regard for the devastating economic impact of raising more taxes on the food and beverage industry.  A soda tax will drive many of our Fortune 500 businesses throughout Westchester right out of the state and cost Westchester County thousands of jobs. I would sincerely call upon the Governor to reconsider this option.

Simply put, Governor Paterson’s soda tax proposal can result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of New York jobs, and end up costing - not saving - taxpayers millions of dollars.”