Worst Case Scenario
June 9th, 2009
Let’s say they can’t get their acts together — whoever is in charge — and the city is left without an approved revenue package.
“Without that we have a $900 million hole in our budget,” said Councilmember David Weprin, a comptroller candidate and head of the council’s finance committee. “If it goes on past (the July 1 budget deadline), then we will have to do some temporary measure to close that.”
The council and the Bloomberg administration are banking on the State Legislature to approve a revenue package they agreed upon last week. The package includes a 0.5 percent increase in the sales tax, the rolling back of a sales tax exemption for clothing sales over $110 and an expansion of the sales tax to non-utility customers. It also includes a number of restructured corporation and unincorporated business taxes.
The whole package is worth $887 million.
If that is stalled upstate, Weprin said the city would only have a number of options. The only tax they could increase on their own is the property tax, which they could be less inclined to do since they raised it last year. Weprin said they could take funding from the city’s health care trust fund — worth $2.6 billion.
“I am hoping that is not the case,” said Weprin. “That would be a last resort.”
At one point, city officials said the administration and the City Council could have a budget deal as early as this week. Petitioning for city campaigns starts today, and many electeds want to focus on getting their signatures.
Now, Weprin says, “nothing is off the table, but it becomes less likely without Albany.”By Courtney Gross on June 9, 2009, 12:14 pm
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