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Gov. Paterson considers delay in paying state tax refunds

ALBANY, N.Y. - Some New Yorkers could see a delay in the arrival of their state income tax refund checks if Gov. David A. Paterson decides it's the best way to make sure the state has enough cash.

The state limits the amount of tax refunds it pays in the first three months of the year to $1.75 billion. Paterson is considering reducing that to $1.25 billion because the state must roll $1.4 billion into next year's budget to close this year's budget gap.

"The reason we have to consider delaying payments is that the Legislature has been unwilling to work with the governor and fully address our current-year deficit," said Morgan Hook, a Paterson spokesman.

But Republican Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb lambasted even the thought of postponing refund checks.

"It shouldn't even be considered," Kolb said. "This is the people's money . . . If we have to make other provisions to take care of our state budget, then we need to do that."

Paterson is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks. - AP

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