Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Brian Benjamin

Brian Benjamin

  • 1 cm helen rosenthal womens

    Council Member Helen Rosenthal (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, is dropping out of the 2021 race for Comptroller, she told Gotham Gazette in an interview Friday morning.

    Next year, the entire city government – the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, five borough presidents and 51 City Council seats – will be on the ballot. Rosenthal is currently serving her second term representing District 6 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and cannot run for reelection

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  • de Blasio city budget graph trends

    The city's economy & budget are in free-fall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s fiscal woes are worsening by the day as the COVID-19 pandemic has deprived the city of much needed tax revenue while likely forcing severe budget cuts that could be compounded by reductions in state aid. Though there is broad agreement that the best solution can only come in the form of a federal bailout, various other strategies and contingencies are being debated. And several of the candidates seeking to become the city’s next chief fiscal

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  • Mayor de Blasio property tax reform dead

    Mayor de Blasio's slow-play on property tax reform has now been compounded (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Offie)


    The start of the year 2020 offered what many believed to be the most promising steps in decades to revamping New York's confusing and unfair property tax system. In January, an advisory commission established by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council, which was tasked with comprehensively assessing and reevaluating the property tax system, released a set of recommendations. While coming much later than many had

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  • state senator brian benjammin

    State Senator Brian Benjamin (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Brian Benjamin on Rescuing New York's Finances & More

    State Senator Brian Benjamin joined the show to discuss the New York State and City fiscal crises brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallout. Benjamin, who represents parts of Upper Manhattan and chairs the Senate revenue and budget committee, talked about the city saving, borrowing, and looking for other solutions,

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  • fiscal year prelim

    Mayor de Blasio gives a budget presentation (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio desperately searches for solutions to the city’s financial woes caused by the coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers and fiscal watchdogs are advocating for legislation that, had it been approved years ago, would have helped the city better weather just such a storm by allowing it to create a dedicated fund for fiscal emergencies.

    In January, de Blasio had proposed a $95.3 billion budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, that was a more

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    A nearly-empty State Senate Chamber as business is conducted amid coronavirus outbreak (photo: NY Senate)


    If New Yorkers take Governor Andrew Cuomo’s word for it, the new $177 billion budget approved last week will “deliver results” for the people of the state and was a far cry from a “bare minimum” spending plan at a time when the state’s finances are racked by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But within his own Democratic Party, which controls both houses of the Legislature where the plan was passed, the budget is a highly unpopular document that to

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  • m b ncb

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A long-awaited report from the city’s Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform was released Thursday, outlining recommendations for potentially drastic changes to the way residential properties are taxed across the five boroughs.

    The report, which contains ten recommendations to update and add equity to New York’s vast property tax system, comes after months of delay and almost a year after the commission, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, completed its mandated public

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  • inauguration jan

    (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Candidates running for local office filed their latest campaign finance disclosures with the New York City Campaign Finance Board this week, showing their fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, and cumulative numbers for the 2021 election cycle.

    Next year’s election is shaping up to be highly competitive and consequential, with two of three citywide elected officials, four of five borough presidents, and 35 of 51 City Council members facing term limits. The city will elect a new mayor and comptroller for the first

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  • ocean bayside apt

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It is taking more time than promised for the city’s property tax reform commission to come out with its initial and final reports with recommendations for changes to the antiquated and unfair system, a delay that threatens to undermine the de Blasio administration’s footing in Albany, where many of the changes would need to be made.

    The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018, was expected to issue a preliminary report with

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  • sen br be3

    Wednesday's Senate roundtable (photo: @NYSenBenjamin)


    A roomful of top experts on New York’s property tax system -- an opaque topic that nonetheless touches every New Yorker, property-owner or not -- gathered for a roundtable discussion convened by state lawmakers Wednesday in downtown Manhattan. They were assembled at the hearing by State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat and chair of the Senate’s budget and revenues committee, to discuss solutions to the antiquated and unequal levy system that many want to see tackled in 2020, however overdue the action would

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  • control board bdb

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With voter approval of a city charter amendment to pursue the creation of a budgetary “rainy day fund” in New York City, de Blasio administration officials are now looking to change state laws so that the city can actually start one.

    “We’re going to have to work together to make this happen,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan at a breakfast event hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission Wednesday morning, just a few hours after polls closed on Tuesday night.

    Voters had overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the

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  • senate bill complement

    Senator Benjamin at Thursday's press conference (photo: @BrianKavanaghNY)


    New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat who is exploring a possible 2021 run for city comptroller, introduced a bill on Thursday that would allow New York City to create a “rainy day fund” to weather fiscal emergencies.

    Currently, the city lacks the authority to set aside revenue in such a dedicated pot, one result of the city’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s. But a question on this year’s general election ballot in the city could change the City Charter to

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  • senator state a

    State Senator Brian Benjamin, left, with Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: @NYSenBenjamin)


    The 2021 primary for New York City Comptroller may be 21 months away, but there are already three declared Democratic candidates in the race, and another has now indicated he’s exploring a run. State Senator Brian Benjamin, who represents Upper Manhattan, announced on Thursday that he is testing the waters for a potential bid for comptroller and said he would explore over the next year, including a 2020 Senate reelection campaign, to see if his candidacy is

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  • de Blasio Albany budget testimony

    Mayor de Blasio testifying in Albany (Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Testifying in Albany Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $168 billion executive budget and outlined the city’s funding priorities for the next fiscal year.

    De Blasio was the first to testify at a joint legislative budget hearing on local governments, making his annual journey to the Capitol, where he also met privately with Cuomo for an hour, and was scheduled to meet with three of five legislative conference leaders:

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