Gotham Gazette

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Independent Budget Office

Independent Budget Office

  • de Blasio Schumer federal coronavirus

    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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  • bdb 200 citywide

    New York City economy is at a standstill (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Economists and budget experts concede that they can make no concrete predictions about how long the economy will be in recession because of the novel coronavirus outbreak and the cumulative effects it will have on jobs and revenue. Nonetheless, the consequences that they have been able to forecast show that the city has a tough road ahead, experiencing a worse downturn than in the early 1970s as 1.2 million jobs have already been lost and, with extreme social distancing

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  • de Blasio Cuomo budget coronavirus

    Major challenges now & ahead for Mayor & Governor (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    New York has weathered financial storms before, including after the 2008 recession and the September terror attacks in 2001. But the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to eclipse the scope of both those emergencies. The fiscal impact on the economy is impossible to predict with any certainty but suffice it to say, it will put a major dent in the city’s and state’s budgets for the coming fiscal year.

    In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo ...

  • comp dinapoli growth

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City has experienced a remarkable and extended economic recovery since the devastation wrought by the global recession, with job growth continuing at levels higher than the state and the entire country, according to the latest report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But the New York City Independent Budget Office, a fiscal watchdog agency, predicts that job growth in the city will sharply decline over the next two years across all private sector industries as the national economy

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  • mbdb execb

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


    The 2019 Charter Revision Commission, which is looking at ways to improve the city’s central governing document, heard suggestions on Monday from community-based organizations, fiscal watchdogs, and former and current city officials about potential changes to the city’s byzantine budgeting process.

    Over the course of more than three hours, experts weighed in on the city’s flawed contract procurement system, the severe lack of transparency in spending on capital projects, the possibility of creating a rainy day fund for the city, and

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  • citycouncil corey johnson jumaane williams

    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Jumaane Williams, the City Council member elected public advocate in a special election last month, has vowed a renewed push for increased funding and an independent budget to bolster the meager resources of the office he now occupies.

    Over the course of the six-week long special election that Williams won, virtually all of the 17 candidates who were on the ballot argued that the public advocate’s office needs more funding. One of just three elected

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  • Cuomo budget presentation

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    New York’s economy has seen several rosy years in the decade since the Great Recession, with a run of steady growth, increasing

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  • 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 speech dining room gracie

    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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  • 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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  • de blasio budget presentation independent budgeting

    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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  • cuomo exec budget pres 2014

    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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  • de blasio mark-viverito budget

    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 ...

  • lunch for learning electeds

    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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  • 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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