Mayor Michael Bloomberg was hesitant today to criticize Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to allow local governments to pay lower pension rates now against future savings, but said in general it was “bad policy.”

“Postponing, down the road, expenses that you are going to have every year is not a good policy,” Bloomberg told a joint panel of Senate and Assembly lawmakers.

The mayor, who has tangled with Cuomo in past, made clear, however, that he is speaking generally, since New York City would not be affected by the proposal.

But the comments came as Cuomo faces questions from the state’s mayors — most notably his own Democratic Party co-chairwoman Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner — that smoothing isn’t enough to help their cash-strapped budgets.

Miner is due to testify before the budget later today.

The question about pension smoothing came from Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco, a Republican who has been floated as a potential mayoral challenger to Miner this fall.

Cuomo’s office estimates that locking in the stable rate now for the newly created Tier Six pension plan can save Syracuse up to $12 million.