Gotham Gazette

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City Budget

City Budget

  • The Mayor’s Savings Mirage

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    Mayor de Blasio presents a budget (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On January 20, Mayor de Blasio presented his $95.3 billion preliminary budget for the 2021 fiscal year that begins on July 1 as well as updated data on the budget for the current fiscal year. He noted that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and city agencies had found enough cost savings to completely offset the “new needs” spending included in the preliminary plan. The

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? 7 Days: Budget Season Begins, with Citizens Budget Commission President Andrew Rein

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 87 -- 7 days: Budget Season Begins, with CBC President Andrew Rein [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    artworks 000672422038 af4432 t500x500It's been seven days since the start of the new budget season, which commenced this year with the New York City Preliminary Budget released

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  • Warning of State Threats, De Blasio Presents $95.3 Billion Preliminary Budget for 2021 Fiscal Year

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday released a $95.3 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1, increasing planned spending by about $2.5 billion or 2.7% over the city budget that was adopted last year.

    The growth in spending is lower than previous budget increases the mayor has proposed and an uptick from the $94.3 billion that the city projects to spend by the end of the current fiscal year, according to budget modification documents released in November. The city budget

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  • Many Major Challenges, Decisions for De Blasio in 2020

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio enters his seventh year in office, on the heels of a failed presidential bid and at a time when his political clout appears at its nadir, he faces many major challenges and big decisions ahead.

    2020, the next-to-last year of his second and final term, begins with a focus on public safety, including recent spikes in anti-Semitic hate crimes, murders, and byciclist fatalities, as well as how the city is adjusting to new state-mandated bail reforms that the mayor has

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  • City Awards $19 Million in Census Funds to Community Outreach Organizations

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    Mayor de Blasio with Census Director Julie Menin and others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to send out questionnaires for the decennial population count beginning in March, city officials are working to make sure that New York City residents respond en masse. On Friday, the city is announcing a list of 155 organizations that will receive some part of a $19-million funding pot to conduct outreach in hard-to-count communities and populations across the city.

    The city’s Complete Count Fund makes up nearly half the $40 million

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  • Worrisome City Budget Update Buried by Holiday and State Woes

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    Mayor de Blasio gives a budget presentation (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    It is an axiom of media relations that when you don’t want something to get a lot of attention, you make it public at a time when few will be paying attention. So, the Friday before last week’s Thanksgiving holiday, when reporters and news consumers were getting ready to greet family, cook and/or travel, both Governor Cuomo and the Mayor de Blasio announced unsettling budget reports.

    The governor released ...

  • What's The [DATA] Point? $15 billion, with First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 84 -- $15 billion, Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    wtdp dean fuleihan2$15 billion is the CBC's estimate of the three-year revenue shortfall for New York City government in a recession. First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan joined CBC President Andrew Rein for a

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  • First Deputy Mayor on Next Steps for Voter-Approved 'Rainy Day Fund'

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    (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 Would Complement City Voter Approval of Budget 'Rainy Day Fund'

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    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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  • A Closer Look at the Costs, and Savings, of Closing Rikers and Building Four New Jails

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    Rikers Island (photo via Lippman Commission report)


    Late last week, the New York City Council approved the de Blasio administration’s plan to build four new borough-based jails to replace the detention complex on Rikers Island. The plan hinges on a continued reduction in the city jail population, in large part brought on by state and city criminal justice reforms and changes in city policing. Various aspects of the costs, and potential savings, involved in shuttering the Rikers jails and opening the four new ones – from

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  • Racing to the Scene of the Wrong Emergency

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    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York Times recently published a two-column editorial advocating that the city’s emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics be paid close to or as much as its firefighters. Far easier for the Times to virtue-posture by supporting more pay for hard-working, largely of color EMTs than to address how the increased expense should be funded or how to remedy the astonishing imbalance in resources

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  • 2019 Charter Revision Commission Seeks to 'Tweak,' Not Upend City Balance of Power

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    Carl Weisbrod, left, and Gail Benjamin


    A series of proposals on the ballot before New Yorkers this fall is meant to revisit city political power dynamics established after the 1989 Charter Revision Commission, which 30 years ago reshaped New York City government into its current form. That is what Gail Benjamin and Carl Weisbrod, two leaders of the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, said during a Wednesday morning discussion hosted by the Association for a Better New York and Citizens Union at the New School.

    From the early voting period of October 26

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  • The State’s $7 Billion MTA IOU Comes Due

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    (photo: the governor's office)


    MTA officials acknowledged at their June 2019 board meetings that the agency is borrowing money to be repaid through a New York State law that promised to have the State of New York provide the MTA $7.3 billion once the authority had exhausted its own funds on spending for the current five-year capital program.

    The 2016 state law was merely an “IOU," there had been no specific source of funds identified for how the state would pay the money, nor has there been any plan developed since enactment in the state budget that

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  • An Old, Unfair System: New York City's Property Tax Conundrum - Part III - The City's Bottom Line

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor Bill de Blasio


    This is the third and final part of a three-part series on New York City's antiquated and unfair property tax system, its complications and inequities, the underway task of reforming it, and prospects for the future.

    Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here.

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  • Campaigning for Congress, Torres Touts City Funding Secured for Development Outside Council District

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    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Bronx City Council Member Ritchie Torres is touting $3 million in city funding he secured for a residential complex that falls outside the Council district he represents, but within the Congressional district where he’s seeking votes.

    The money will go to Concourse Village, Inc., a nearly 1,900-unit housing cooperative located in the south Bronx, over a mile away from the border of Torres’ district. The second-term Democratic Council member is running for Congress in the primary that will

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  • Struggling with Overcrowded Schools and Large Class Sizes, City Advances $8.8 Billion Plan

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    Mayor de Blasio & others break ground for a new East New York school (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Some days, it can be hard for Arthur Goldstein to walk down the hallway of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, where he teaches English as a second language. Goldstein’s school is one of 25 overcrowded schools in the 26th school district, and has a utilization rate of 207 percent, according to a 2018 Department of Education ...

  • The Mayor Must Stop Leaving Summer Camp Providers and Parents Scrambling

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Yasmin Schwartz is the Assistant Division Director for Middle School Programs at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), a settlement house in Brooklyn. Starting this week, CHLDC expected to run a School’s Out NYC (SONYC) summer camp five days per week for more than 100 middle school students.

    Summer camp activities require careful planning and program directors must hire and vet staff through both New York City and State background checks, register students, and

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  • Paying New York City’s Debt to Taxi Drivers

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    (photo: @NYTWA)


    When financial bubbles burst, it’s almost always regular people whose lives are ruined. The fraudsters and scammers often avoid serious consequences. So it was with America’s mortgage crisis in 2008. And so it has been with New York City’s own home-grown mortgage meltdown: the collapse of yellow taxi medallion values since 2014, which has had a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of yellow taxi drivers.

    New York City only allows a fixed number of the iconic yellow taxis on its streets--creating over the decades a consistent,

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  • Charter Revision Commission Approves 17 Proposals for November Ballot

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    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    After a nine months-long process of public hearings, private meetings, and spirited discussion, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission approved 17 proposals for the November ballot on Wednesday evening.

    Commission staff will draft ballot language for these proposals and the commission will take a final vote to approve the proposals on July 24. It will have one more meeting - on Tuesday, June 18 - to discuss adding other proposals to the list.

    Potential changes to the city’s central governing laws

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  • The Rainy Day Fund New York Needs

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    With so much attention focused on the mayor’s presidential campaign, rent regulation renewal, and the state of the transit system, most New Yorkers are unaware they will have the opportunity this fall to vote to dramatically change their city government.

    The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission is considering what amendments to the City Charter, which defines the structure and powers of city government, it will recommend to voters for a yes or no vote on the November ballot. Notable

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  • Taxi Medallion Exposé Drives Home Key Budget Lesson

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    (Photo: Ed Reed/City Council)


    Last week, the New York Times published another blockbuster investigative series by reporter Brian Rosenthal, this time on the misleading and predatory practices which led to inflated prices of New York City yellow taxi medallions over the last decade.

    The compelling stories of taxi drivers who thought they were buying into the American dream by purchasing taxi medallions, only to find their incomes drastically

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  • New York City Must Fully Restore Article 6 Public Health Budget Cuts

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    As health care providers and public health advocates, we believe that all New Yorkers deserve access to high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate health care. We believe that health care is a human right—not a luxury for the privileged. 

    And yet, New York State has cut vital public health programs for our city—and only our city. Known as Article 6, these state funds help support critical services provided by local health departments, including immunizations; tuberculosis outreach, education and testing; and sexual

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  • De Blasio's Budget Savings Plan Contains Few Real Efficiencies, Experts Say

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s much-touted budget savings program is not what he has made it seem.

    After rapidly growing the budget over his first five years in office and resisting calls to find significant efficiencies at city agencies, de Blasio this year instituted his first “program to eliminate the gap,” or PEG, to achieve hundreds of millions of dollars in “savings.” But though the mayor boasted at his executive budget presentation of $916 million in

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  • The Threat of the Trump Budget to New York City’s Social Safety Net is Very Real

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Last month, President Trump offered a cynical vision of the future with the release of his fiscal year 2020 budget. If enacted, it would deepen poverty and widen economic and racial disparities by denying millions health care and food, ramping up anti-immigrant enforcement, sabotaging the census, and disinvesting in housing and education. Meanwhile, the proposal prioritizes guns over butter by bloating the military budget and increases tax cuts to high-income taxpayers and heirs to very large estates.

    FPWA

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  • City Council Pushes Its Priorities at First Hearing on De Blasio's Executive Budget

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    Council Member Dromm and Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York City Council and budget officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration engaged in a familiar push-and-pull on Monday, at the first hearing on the $92.5 billion executive budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year that begins July 1.

    The Council, disappointed that many of its priorities were not included in the latest spending plan presented by the mayor, pushed for more funding and pointed to hundreds of millions in revenue available to the city, but

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