Easing the State Budget Deficit with New Taxes

New York drivers may be facing higher gasoline taxes, and new tolls on East River bridges, as the state looks for ways of closing a $15 billion budget deficit.

Yesterday, opponents of the new tolls suggested that state officials bail out the Metropolitan Transportation Authority by hiking the gas tax, instead.

Governor Paterson says he liked the idea in addition to the new bridge toll plan.

PATERSON: Finally wind up using all of them. Why will we use all of them? Because of the city's prohibitive deficit and because the state is $15 billion in deficit.

REPORTER: Previously, the governor has insisted on spending cuts first, before raising any taxes.

Paterson is releasing his proposal for the new budget next week, several weeks early, to allow extra time to negotiate ways to close a $15 billion budget gap.