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City Budget

City Budget

  • Budget Watchdogs Question De Blasio’s 'Mansion Tax'

    de blasio mansion tax

    De Blasio pitches his mansion tax (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Budget watchdogs have expressed concern that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “mansion tax” proposal, which would impose levies on real estate transactions above $2 million, may be misguided or even unnecessary.

    De Blasio made a last-minute trip to Albany on Wednesday to rally with Democratic lawmakers and progressive advocates in favor of a number of proposals currently being considered in state budget negotiations. The mayor’s chief concern,

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  • A Better Budget for New York

    scott stringer

    Comptroller Scott Stringer, the author


    Discoveries of "Super Earths." Contact lenses with data displays and video cameras. Earpieces that translate different languages in real-time. We are truly in the great age of technology and innovation. Knowledge, access, and new tools are helping us break barriers like never before in human history.

    So why, then, does it seem so hard to deliver basic transparency to the city budget? If we're realizing incredible new terrain, why is it so difficult to lay out local government spending in a way that everyday people can

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 20

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The New York political world is still reeling from and reacting to the news that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides will not be charged in either of two investigations into their behavior. Comptroller Scott Stringer has said definitively he is running for reelection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it’s time to move on to

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  • For Local Defenders and Their Clients, This Year Is Different

    seymour james legal aid

    Seymour W. James Jr., the author


    It's budget season at City Hall. Since early March and for the next few weeks, the City Council will hold a gamut of hearings reviewing the financial needs of each city agency for the upcoming fiscal year. Press conferences are held, commissioners are grilled, and community based organizations try to make the case to Council members for more funding to serve their constituents.

    The Legal Aid Society testified last Tuesday before the Committee on Courts and Legal Services, and we too urged for increased

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  • De Blasio Attempts to Clarify Latest Media Insult

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    Mayor de Blasio speaks to the media (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio regularly expresses frustration with the ways New York media covers him and his administration. He believes that his accomplishments are not given enough ink and airtime, and that journalists focus too much on any sign of mistake or conflict, trivial matters, and the “personalities” as he feuds with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

    De Blasio believes that reporters and editors do not reflect in their coverage what New Yorkers really

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  • City Continues Board of Elections Budget Dance

    Ben Kallos City Council

    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    Although Mayor Bill de Blasio promised after taking office that he would do away with the practice of underfunding city agencies in the preliminary budget only to later provide them with full funding, one agency that seems to suffer from this each year is the New York City Board of Elections. The budget process for fiscal year 2018 is no exception.

    The mayor’s

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  • Law Department Budget Hearing Focuses on De Blasio Administration Legal Defense

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    Mayor de Blasio & aides in a courtyard (photo: Mayor's Office on flickr)


    The investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have cost the city $10.5 million in outside legal defense spending so far, and might cost millions more, said Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter at a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Monday.

    Carter, who heads the city’s Law Department, testified before the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations that the state and federal investigations into the mayor

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  • Growing Office of Civil Justice a Focus of Council Budget Hearing

    Gibson Lander Council

    Coucil Member Vanessa Gibson, right (photo: William Alatriste)


    New York City’s civil legal services went under the microscope Tuesday at a hearing held by the City Council’s Courts and Legal Services Committee. One in a series of City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.67 preliminary budget, the committee heard from representatives of the Department for Social Services about its programs and budget needs.

    Testifying before the committee, DSS Commissioner Steve Banks delineated his department’s spending, focusing specifically on

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  • Investigations Commissioner Lays Out Budget Needs For Agency

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    DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (photo: @DOInews)


    At a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Thursday, Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters laid out new funding and staffing needs for his agency, which is facing a $5 million proposed reduction in its fiscal year 2018 allocation by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    The proposed preliminary budget for the Department of Investigation (DOI), the watchdog body that monitors and probes public corruption and other wrongdoing at 45 city agencies, is $41.7 million, down from

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  • Investing in the Parks System New York City Deserves

    Mark Levine Council Parks

    Council Member Levine, the author (photo: William Alatriste)


    The numbers are startling: 42 million visitors per year in Central Park -- double the number of visitors to Disney World. Over 7 million people visit the High Line annually and 5 million visit Bryant Park. On a peak summer weekend 127,000 visit Brooklyn Bridge Park.

    Park use in New York City is surging. And with the population in the five boroughs continuing to grow and tourism booming, this trend will surely continue.

    But the story is not the same

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  • Budget Hearing Shows Veterans Department Settling into Agency Status

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    Council Member Ulrich (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council Committee on Veterans held a preliminary budget hearing Monday, hearing testimony from the Department of Veterans Services and advocates for military veterans in New York City.

    Council members, led by committee Chair Eric Ulrich, heard from Loree Sutton, the commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services, and others in assessing the department’s budgetary needs for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

    Formerly the Mayor’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs, DVS was

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 6

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Israel on an "economic development and unity trip." Cuomo left Saturday and is due back on Monday.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has also been traveling -- the mayor was in Chicago on Friday for a fundraiser, a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and a speech at the City Club of Chicago; he then traveled over the weekend holding fundraisers in Florida and California. De Blasio is due back in New York City on

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  • 'External Risks Threaten NYC Budget,’ State Comptroller Says

    dinapoli speaking podium

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    As City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan began Thursday morning at City Hall, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a new report on the city’s finances. “External risks threaten NYC budget,” the report blares, raising additional red flags to those already in the air courtesy of de Blasio’s own budget office, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and others.

    DiNapoli’s report, “Review of the Financial Plan of the City of New York,” is part of his job

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  • Federal 'Wait and See' Dominates First City Budget Hearing

    Ferreras-Copeland City Council budget hearing

    Council Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland (two photos: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Thursday to examine Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, starting the next phase in a months-long process to determine the city’s spending priorities amid broad uncertainty about its fiscal future.

    Roughly $7 billion in federal funding to the city is threatened by the proposed policies of the Trump administration and the Republican Congress in

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  • Several Points of Funding Contention for City Budget Negotiation

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    Mayor de Blasio presents his budget (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s annual budget season kicked off on January 25 with the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. Starting Thursday, the City Council will hold weeks of hearings to examine the financial plan,

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  • Pointing to Progress, Deputy Mayor Says City Hears Nonprofit Funding Concerns

    Deputy Mayor Richard Buery speaking Medgar Evers

    Deputy Mayor Richard Buery (photo: Medgar Evers College)


    As city-contracted nonprofit organizations continue to call for funding increases from the de Blasio administration, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery insists that the administration is “sympathetic” to those concerns and is doing everything in its power to ensure a “strong and robust” nonprofit sector.

    Nonprofits in the city that provide a range of contracted

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  • Comptroller Criticizes Mayor for 'Out Of Control' Homelessness Spending, Limited Agency Savings

    stringer 2

    Comptroller Scott Stringer presents his budget analysis (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Comptroller Scott Stringer blasted aspects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018 on Wednesday, taking issue with the mayor’s homelessness strategy and what Stringer described as a dearth of savings for city agencies.

    Speaking to reporters at his offices on 1 Center Street, the comptroller said the city’s economy continues to be strong but warned of the challenges from an economic slowdown after years of sustained growth, the effects of which

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  • The Time Is Now to Increase City Human Services Contracts

    Urban Pathways rally outside city hall

    Urban Pathways members rally outside City Hall (photo via Urban Pathways)


    In May 2015, my fellow Urban Pathways Board Member Gary Belsky rightfully recognized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fiscal year 2016 budget investment in the human services nonprofit workforce. The investment -- a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment and an $11.50-per-hour wage floor, coupled with a subsequent City-funded

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  • Planned Change to Veterans Department Budget Causes Stir

    bdb vets via nycveterans

    photo: @nycveterans


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget, released January 24, proposes nearly $1 billion in increased spending for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. But a conspicuous, albeit infinitesimal, reduction for one agency has irked elected officials and advocates.

    The mayor’s spending plan, which will be evaluated by and negotiated with the City Council, includes a $318,000 decrease in the budget for the newly-minted Department of Veterans Services, which was created last year as an agency outside

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  • With No 'Trump-Specific Adjustment,' De Blasio Unveils $84.7 Billion Budget

    de Blasio preliminary budget presentation

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Acknowledging that there is significant “uncertainty” emanating from the new federal administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday unveiled an $84.67 billion preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that focuses on increasing the city’s savings while building on accomplishments from the last three years and addressing persistent challenges.

    “I want to say at the outset that this budget was written with the assumption of profound challenges from Washington,” de Blasio said

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  • Comptroller Releases Second Annual People’s Financial Report

    stringer table meeting mwbe 1

    Comptroller Stringer (photo: @scottmstringer)


    The New York City operating budget is an $83.4 billion behemoth, with all the complexity you would expect in a spending plan for a city of 8.5 million residents and many millions more in tourists. Despite their importance, the city budget and other municipal financial documents are not easy to understand or use. But, there have been a series of recent efforts by elected officials to make the city’s finances more open and navigable.

    In that vein, Comptroller Scott Stringer, the city’s chief

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  • With Trump Presidency Looming, City Officials Reevaluate Financial Picture

    ferreas copeland presser nyccouncil

    Council Member Ferreras-Copeland (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    The potential repercussions of President-elect Donald Trump’s policies on New York City’s budget loomed over a Wednesday City Council hearing. The Council’s Committee on Finance met for oversight on the de Blasio administration’s November Financial Plan Update, which shows a projected increase in spending of $1.3 billion this fiscal year, as well as additional savings being set aside by the city.

    On Wednesday at City Hall, Council members led by finance Chair Julissa

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  • Savings Debate Intensifies Ahead of City Budget Modification

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    Mayor de Blasio in a budget presentation (photo: NYC Mayor's Office)


    Reading the tea leaves and heeding calls to be more prepared for an inevitable recession, the de Blasio administration has formed a new unit in its budget office tasked with coordinating additional agency savings, a move expected to be more formally announced in conjunction with the coming November budget modification.

    City tax revenue growth has slowed, but a recession is not yet here, and may not be imminent. Though alarm bells have been ringing of late, city tax revenue

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  • Inside the City’s Personnel Growth and Agency Hiring Practices

    de blasio budget presentation

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    There were 313,092 full-time and full-time equivalent positions employed by the City of New York as of June 30, the final day of last fiscal year, according to headcount data provided by the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). According to forecasted staffing levels in the Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2017, released by OMB on June 14, the City plans to add

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  • With Few Reservations, Council Finalizes New $82 Billion City Budget

    Council Mayor budget

    The Mayor & the City Council (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council chambers at City Hall were filled with grief on Tuesday. Before the Council would conduct its business for the day -- approving an $82.1 billion budget for the city’s 2017 fiscal year -- members first paid their respects to the 49 people killed by a terrorist who shot patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday. One by one, Council members read out the names of victims and placed small electric candles on the dais at the front of the chamber. Almost every Council member

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