New York Governor David Paterson said public funds shouldn’t guarantee most of the financing for developer Larry Silverstein’s plans for office towers at the World Trade Center site.

The governor said he would intervene in negotiations to resolve a financing dispute between Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the 16-acre lower Manhattan site. He said Silverstein has agreed to postpone today’s deadline to go to binding arbitration, saying such a move 'could take up to nine months, maybe longer.'

'I think it’s unfair to the taxpayers, because you could go to the private equity firms, and they don’t want to extend that kind of credit,' Paterson said on a conference call from Albany. 'So I don’t think that the taxpayers should run a greater risk than what makes good business sense for a number of private institutions.'

Silverstein has asked the Port Authority, which runs the region’s ports, airports and interstate bridges and tunnels, to guarantee financing for two of the three towers he plans for Ground Zero.

bloomberg.com