New York's Taxes and 2008

I'm confused.

The City's Independent Budget Office has released a report stating that New York City residents pay much higher state and local taxes than residents of any other city in the US.

How can this be possible?

From 1994 until 2002, wasn't our Mayor a conservative and a tax cutter? Didn't he cut the welfare rolls and refuse to cave into unions. Isn't he the natural heir to Ronald Reagan. Doesn't his conservative fiscal policy mean that Republican primary voters should vote for him despite his views on social issues?

Can Fred Siegel, Steve Malanga, the other folk at the Manhattan Institute, the editorial writers at the NY Post and NY Sun explain how this could have happened?