Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

City Budget

City Budget

  • 4 Things to Watch as Mayor and City Council Finalize New Budget

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    The Mayor and City Council discuss the budget (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City’s next fiscal year begins Wednesday, July 1, and there is no clear picture of the city’s fiscal future. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for the city’s economy, gutting revenue streams and necessitating major cuts in planned city government spending, along with tapping into billions of dollars in reserves.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are engaged in intense negotiations as they seek to

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  • New York City Can Rebuild Through This Budget Crisis – Here’s How

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    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the author (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    By the end of the month, just a few days from now, New York City will have to pass a balanced budget. With additional drops in revenue, looming state cuts to education and health-care funding, and the growing unlikelihood of federal support for states and localities, piecing together a budget that does not cut critical programs and services will be almost impossible. 

    What does this mean for our future? How can we keep residents from giving up on New York City? How can we bring

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  • We Must Stay True to Our Values and Avoid Devastation in a Painful City Budget Process

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    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Crises are about our choices, and they reveal our priorities. I've always said that it's easy to be progressive in times of surplus, but that when funding is cut or curtailed, it is all the more important to stand by progressive values.

    Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has put extraordinary strain on the city's finances, and in accounting for this, human responsibility must be paramount. Facing $10 billion in lost tax revenue, sacrifices will be necessary

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  • Defund the DOC, Invest in Supportive Housing

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


    Michael Tyson, Raymond Rivera, Layleen Polanco, Wayne Henderson, Kalief Browder, Jerome Murdough, Bradley Ballard, Carlos Mercado, Ronald Spear. Just some of the Black and brown people who have died in recent years from neglect or abuse at Rikers Island. As our city and country demand justice for racial inequities in policing and beyond, the budget for New York City’s brutally violent, racially unjust, fiscally unjustifiable Department of Correction must be cut. The savings should

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  • With Mass Evictions and Real Estate Speculation Looming, City and State Leaders Must Give Communities Opportunity to Own Their Own Land

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    Council Member Rivera at a CLT rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York faces two new fronts in its housing crisis -- a wave of heightened speculation likely to destabilize communities and an onslaught of expected evictions as housing courts reopen.

    As Mayor de Blasio and the City Council approach the June 30 deadline for voting on the fiscal year 2021 budget, communities of color hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are not seeing anywhere near the requisite level of support to combat these

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  • How New York City Should Make 'Hard Choices' to Close Growing Budget Gap, Per Watchdog

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    De Blasio makes a budget presentation (photo: Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s political leadership is staring at major challenges with a new city budget due by the July 1 start of the next fiscal year. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are facing massive drops in tax revenue given the coronavirus shutdown, and must still craft a balanced budget.

    The mayor has sought a federal “bailout” to replace several billion dollars in lost revenue, but while the Democrat-led House of Representatives passed a massive relief bill the

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  • The Necessity of New York City Budget Justice

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    Mayor de Blasio at an NYPD lot (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Like other major cities reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, New York is facing a serious budget deficit and we have to make difficult choices about where to cut funding and where to redirect resources. This crisis has exposed the agonizing holes in our city’s social safety net like a raw nerve. We’ve been bombarded with news of the massive inequities faced by essential workers and low-income New Yorkers most at risk from the virus, the horrifying racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths, and our anemic personal

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  • Mayor's Office Misses Deadlines for City Council Budget Cut Request and Comptroller Coronavirus Probe

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    De Blasio briefs City Council members (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    With three weeks to go before the budget for the next fiscal year is due, the City Council is putting pressure on Mayor Bill de Blasio to spell out planned cuts to city agencies to fill a $9 billion projected budget gap. But the administration missed a Monday deadline set by the Council to propose new cuts, balancing the budget in a way that reprioritizes social services and investment in youth and education.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a massive

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  • How 2021 Mayoral Candidates Have Responded to the Coronavirus Fallout and Cries for Police Reform

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    New York City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has slowly turned the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and has just begun the first phase of reopening its economy. But despite the last few weeks of success in curtailing the public health crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership has left many frustrated and looking elsewhere. He has been criticized for providing too little clarity and few plans to the public about various health, social, and economic pieces of the city’s larger recovery puzzle, often proving reactive

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  • Coronavirus Ravaged New York's Budget and Made Your Census Participation More Important Than Ever

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    New York City Census efforts (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the cost to confront COVID-19 grows each day, a severe fiscal fallout for New York’s state and city budgets becomes more of a certainty. And with steep cuts to government programs all but assured, we New Yorkers cannot overlook the significance of participating in this year’s Census. Consider this: New York’s recovery will depend on federal funding, and each person not counted can cost New York ...

  • ‘Defund the NYPD’? What’s Really in the New York City Police Department Budget

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    The NYPD budget is in the spotlight, but what's in it (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The daily protests in New York City over police brutality and racism bore fruit this weekend as Mayor Bill de Blasio reversed course, announcing that he would cut police department funding and institute other reforms at the NYPD. The State Legislature also took notice and expedited a long list of police accountability and transparency measures that had languished for years.

    Over the last ten days, as the protests swelled across the city and the NYPD responded

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  • 2021 Comptroller Candidates Offer Different Ideas for Addressing City's Fiscal Woes

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    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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  • City Fiscal Crisis is an Opportunity to Reimagine Failing Programs, Like Organics Recycling

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    Questions about recycling abound (photo: Michael Anton/Sanitation)


    The May 13 op-ed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, New York City Must Keep and Expand Organics Collection, It’s an Essential Service, suffers from two major fallacies.

    The authors begin their piece:

     “While is it is no secret that the city’s curbside organics collection program doesn’t pay

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Brian Benjamin on Rescuing New York's Finances & More

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    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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  • CUNY Faces Massive Potential Shakeup Due to City and State Budget Cuts

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    CUNY Graduates (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As CUNY braces for tens of millions of dollars of potential city and state cuts to its budget, hundreds of its most vulnerable employees are bracing for pink slips. 

    Colleges across the sprawling, citywide public university system have announced contingency plans to drastically reduce course offerings, adjunct professors and other part-time employees ahead of expected budget shortfalls, leaving many unsure of their positions for the upcoming semester.

    Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice,

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  • No to Austerity, Yes to Efficiency and Fairness: Getting Our Budget Priorities Straight for a Strong Post-COVID New York

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    Major budget questions loom as coronavirus takes its toll (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    As we work to show COVID the door, tough budget decisions are ahead. Governments at every level are grappling with the unprecedented toll this pandemic has had on the economy. 

    COVID has laid bare structural inequities too stark to ignore. While some work comfortably from home, others put themselves in danger on the front lines. While some flee to the Hamptons, others pass the virus between family members in cramped New York City apartments.

    These choices become

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  • Immense Change for City Agency Tasked with Bulk of Coronavirus Response Spending, Government Workforce Shift

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    Mayor de Blasio checking in on emergency efforts (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    More than two months after New York officials raised alarms that the state could run out of life-saving equipment, from ventilators to rubber gloves, New York City is one purchase order away from having a 90-day worst-case-scenario stockpile of medical equipment, officials said Wednesday.

    New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Lisette Camilo told lawmakers the purchase order for ventilators was "in flight" at a City Council hearing on the agency's

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  • It’s Actually the Perfect Time for City Government to Invest in Housing

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    Mayor de Blasio makes a housing announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus shutdown, Mayor de Blasio must find budget savings anywhere he can, while still advancing his mission to make New York “the fairest big city” in America.  

    It won’t be easy. But the sudden drop in tax revenue should not stop the mayor from continuing to make one smart investment: creating new affordable housing.

    With the pandemic exposing the full extent of the city’s homeless crisis, now is

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  • Underappreciated and Underserved, Immigrant New Yorkers Need the City to Step Up

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    Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As in past crises, immigrant New Yorkers are suffering acutely under COVID-19: this time with a cruel twist. While thousands of immigrants work on the frontlines, caring for the sick, cleaning the subways, and keeping us all fed in quarantine, so many are unable to pay rent, keep their businesses afloat, or stay home because of their ...

  • Amid Blowback Over Planned Suspension, De Blasio Administration Explores Alternative Summer Youth Employment Program

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    Council Member Debi Rose with youth workers (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    With New York City facing a massive budget gap and severe social restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the unpopular decision to suspend the Summer Youth Employment Program, which in past years gave tens of thousands of young people jobs over the summer. But as de Blasio faced swift and sweeping criticism for the move, administration officials testified before the City Council that an alternate plan is in the works and will be unveiled soon.

    Over

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  • New York City Must Keep and Expand Organics Collection, It’s an Essential Service

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    Organics collection (photo: NYC Department of Sanitation)


    Among the businesses listed as essential in Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE order are "trash and recycling collection, processing, and disposal" industries. Yet on April 7, Mayor de Blasio followed a different interpretation by announcing that the Department of Sanitation’s organics recycling program would be eliminated on May 4. To do away with this critical environmental program just to save a miniscule percentage of the city’s budget doesn’t make sense, and here’s why:

    While it is no secret that the city’s curbside

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  • First Citywide Participatory Budgeting Program on Chopping Block Because of Coronavirus

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    Participatory budgeting was due for a big increase (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    A new citywide participatory budgeting program, whereby New Yorkers directly decide how to spend city budget money, was meant to be in place by July 1 but may end up being severely limited as the city suffers from the coronavirus pandemic and its multifaceted fallout. 

    Creating the participatory budgeting program was one of the core duties for the New York City Civic Engagement Commission, which was established in the city Charter through a ballot referendum in 2018 that was

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  • To Reopen Schools, The Mayor Needs Smaller Classes - Here’s $570 Million in Potential Department of Education Savings to Get Him Started

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    Mayor de Blasio needs a plan to reopen city schools (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Department of Education has lost 74 employees to the novel coronavirus, including 30 teachers and 28 paraprofessionals who have died as of May 8. Evidence has also emerged that children can develop serious illnesses after being infected with the virus, and even those who are asymptomatic are often effective transmitters. 

    Now

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  • New York City Could Receive $5.3 Billion from First Four Federal Coronavirus Packages

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


    As the coronavirus crisis drains city coffers with an enormous level of emergency government spending and the mandated shutdown of the economy has led tax revenues to plummet, New York City faces an estimated $8.7 billion budget gap. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the hole is dire and the extent to which the city will be shored up to weather the storm depends largely on what it will receive in federal aid.

    While lobbying and negotiations continue that question

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  • New York City's Spending on Coronavirus Fight Tops $1.4 Billion, Matched Thus Far by Federal Aid

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    Mayor de Blasio working with federal reinforcements (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has already spent just over $1.4 billion on its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor’s office told Gotham Gazette on Thursday. That sum roughly matches what the federal government has sent the city government in direct aid through multiple 'stimulus' packages.

    With New York City the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, an all-of-government response and a massive outlay of funds has been necessary. As of Thursday, May 7, the city reported

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