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Independent Budget Office

Independent Budget Office

  • 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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  • De Blasio Faces Local Questions About ‘Mansion Tax’ Plan

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    A report released by the city Independent Budget Office has raised questions about the potential effects of the so-called “mansion tax,” a proposed part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing strategy that would levy a 2.5 percent surcharge on the sale price over a threshold of $2 million for residential properties.

    De Blasio put forward a version of the mansion tax proposal, which requires approval by the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, in mid-2015. It failed

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  • Could CUNY Be Tuition-Free Again?

    hunter college graduation

    (photo via Hunter College)


    Members of the New York City Council want the City University of New York (CUNY) to return to providing a virtually tuition-free college education to local students, but major issues stand in the way.

    For years, students, teachers, elected officials and education activists have led an on-and-off crusade to reduce tuition at CUNY and reinvest in higher education. CUNY was free for qualifying city students from its inception in 1847 until 1976, when a city fiscal crisis led to change. Recently, these efforts were

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  • Independent Budgeting a Little-Used Practice for City Watchdog Agencies

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    Mayor de Blasio makes a budget presentation (photo via Mayor's Office)


    During the annual budget process, city agencies and entities are at the mercy of the Mayor and the City Council, who ultimately set the budget. But unlike many, the several agencies and officials who regularly monitor, regulate, or litigate against the mayoral administration are put in an awkward situation, annually appealing for funding in a dynamic that can hamper their ability to carry out charter-mandated duties and, in some cases, lead

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  • Once Rife with Problems, City Budget Process Now a Model for State System in Need of Reform

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    Governor Cuomo presents his 2014-2015 Executive Budget


    In 1975 New York City was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, having balanced its budget for years with massive borrowing and shady accounting tricks. Banks were at the point where they would lend no more. Mayor Abe Beame had written the announcement of the city's default. City lawyers were in State Supreme Court filing a petition for bankruptcy and police were prepared to serve

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  • Breaking Down the City Budget

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    Mayor & Speaker at budget announcement (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Wednesday, July 1, marked the beginning of the new fiscal year under a $78.6 billion budget agreed upon by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council.

    When he unveiled his preliminary budget outline in February, de Blasio ...

  • What Meals Should City Schools Provide, and When?

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    CMs Dromm, Kallos, & King, Public Advocate James, & advocates (photo: @Lunch4Learning)


    “All I know is that when I would tell him that I’m hungry, he would say that he doesn’t have money to buy me something to eat,” says 17-year-old Althea of growing up with her father. She describes getting food at her house as a “gamble,” adding, “Sometimes the school lunch was the only meal I would eat for the entire day.”

    For many young people in New York City, like Althea, the

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  • City Board of Elections Expected to Again See Budget Bump

    BOE Michael Ryan

    BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan (photo: @BOENYC)


    On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to unveil his Fiscal Year 2016 Executive Budget, which is likely to be nearly identical to the final budget passed by the mayor and the City Council before the June 30 deadline. Much of the new version of the mayor's spending plan will be similar to his $77 billion preliminary budget, which he presented in February and was vetted throughout March by the Council. But, the de Blasio administration has already acknowledged several

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