Gotham Gazette

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City Budget

City Budget

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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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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  • Nonprofit Funding Boost, Pre-K Pay Parity Left Out of City Budget

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    Mayor & Council members announce budget deal (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    In the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s budget agreement between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, a number of Council members decried what they said was underfunding of top Council priorities including summer youth employment, cultural institutions, libraries, senior services, and more. Consequently, the mayor conceded to most of those

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  • De Blasio, City Council Shake on $82 Billion Budget

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    Mayor & Speaker shake on fiscal 2017 budget deal (photo: William Alatriste)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council announced a deal on an $82.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2017 on Wednesday, marking the earliest date in 15 years that a budget agreement has been reached. De Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito undertook the ceremonial handshake at City Hall after presiding over a press conference announcing the details of the deal, including the significant changes from the mayor’s executive budget plan.

    An early budget was

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  • City Council Skips Executive Budget Hearings for Several Committees

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    A City Council hearing (photo: William Alatriste)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council appear to be on the verge of a budget agreement, establishing the city’s spending plan for fiscal year 2017, which begins July 1.

    On May 24, the City Council held its final hearing on de Blasio’s $82.2 billion executive budget for fiscal 2017. The series of executive budget hearings was another step in the lengthy and detailed budget process that includes the mayor’s preliminary budget, a month of preliminary budget hearings,

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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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  • Cultural Affairs Funding One Point of Contention as City Budget Finalized

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    CM Van Bramer, Mayor de Blasio, & Dennis Walcott (l-r) (photo via The Mayor's Office)


    Members of the New York City Council have joined together with cultural institutions and advocates to petition Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase by $40 million the funding for cultural programming and organizations in the upcoming city budget. With a budget deal due by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, final negotiations are underway between the City Council and the de Blasio administration, and outside groups are making their last

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  • Several Council Asks Remain as City Budget Negotiations Hit Home Stretch

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    The Mayor and Council discuss the budget (all photos: William Alatriste)


    City budget season entered its home stretch last week when the City Council conducted its final hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $82.2 billion executive budget for fiscal year 2017. With a deal between the Council and the mayor due by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, the parties will largely negotiate behind closed doors, with funding levels for a number of major priorities on the table. There are also lingering questions about savings and how much

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  • Push Continues for Budget Boost to City Contracted Nonprofits

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    The Human Services Council and City Council Members rally at City Hall


    On a hot and sunny day, dozens of nonprofit workers took to the steps of City Hall to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fund a 2.5 percent increase for the administrative costs of nonprofits that contract with the city. Forty-seven of 51 City Council members have signed on to a letter to de Blasio asking him to baseline the increase, an additional $25

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  • A Series of Rallies Outside City Hall

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     Adult Literacy Rally (Sofie Hecht / Gotham Gazette)


     A variety of activist groups and City Council members gathered outside City Hall on Wednesday morning to call for attention to their respective causes. New legislation was to be introduced at the City Council that afternoon and more budget money was being requested, or demanded, as the city’s new financial plan is due by the end of June and negotiations between the Mayor and the City Council

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  • District Attorneys, City Council Agree Mayor is Underfunding DAs

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    The five District Attorneys at a March hearing (photo: William Alatriste)


    The district attorneys of the five boroughs reasserted their need for increased funding in the 2017 fiscal year at a City Council executive budget hearing Monday at City Hall. Council members—opting to forego heavy questioning of the necessity of this funding—framed fulfilling the district attorney requests as a crucial step towards criminal justice reform.

    The public safety committee hearing was the penultimate executive budget hearing, with

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  • Council to Hold First Budget Hearing for New Veterans' Services Department

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    Mayor de Blasio with Commissioner Sutton (in blue) (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On Friday, the New York City Council will hold the first-ever budget hearing for the newly created Department of Veterans’ Services.

    The Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs is transitioning into the Department of Veterans’ Services, a standalone department with a distinct agency budget and providing expanded services for the city’s 225,000 military veterans. The department became official in April and will now proceed to rollout over the next year, increasing staff

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  • Mayor Pledges to Re-Examine Conflicts of Interest Board Funding

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said he would take another look at funding of the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) for the fiscal year 2017 budget. At its March City Council preliminary budget hearing, COIB representatives explained underfunding of the agency resulting in its inability to carry out its mandated training of city employees around conflict of interest rules and its inability to retain employees. They also said that the city’s budget office had denied repeated requests for

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  • Armed with New Report, Supporters to Push De Blasio on Summer Youth Employment

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    Council Member Eugene & advocates for youth summer camps (photo: @CAMBAInc)


    When the City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Executive Budget for fiscal year

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  • Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Rapid Change

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    Hank Prussing's mural, The Spirit of East Harlem (via @ManhattanCB11)


    Pearl Barkley moved to East Harlem in the 1950s, when she was six years old. Her family lived in the Jefferson Houses on 115th Street, where she lives today and works as an organizer with Community Voices Heard, an economic justice advocacy non-profit.

    “Many people remember the fires, the abandoned boarded up buildings, and the people who left,” Barkley said in an interview. Essential services began disappearing from the

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