Adams unveils details of $103 billion proposed budget for New York City

New York City Mayor Eric Adams released details of his $103 billion proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July.

He warned about a perfect storm of fiscal challenges ahead for the city.

Adams’ proposal keeps spending for city agencies mostly flat, but some members of the City Council claim it will lead to cuts in essential services.

The budget is about 1.5% higher than for the current year, but with forecasts for revenue down and pandemic stimulus money drying up, the mayor is asking agencies to save money by not filling thousands of vacancies.

The city comptroller, public advocate and many City Council members, including the speaker, expressed concern that not replenishing the city workforce will lead to dangerous cuts in services.

The city’s libraries are bracing for major cuts to programs, with losses of as much as $20 million in fiscal year ’24.

The mayor pushed back, saying all the city is asking them to do is not fill vacancies, as it is with other agencies.

“We are saying 50%, that’s what we want them to remove,” Adams said. “That’s the same for our libraries. These are tough times.”

The tough times, the mayor argued, are driven by, among other things, a major drop in commercial property tax revenue — no thanks to vacant offices.

And the arrival of thousands of asylum seekers cost the city $366 million to shelter, feed and assist in 2022. That number is expected to more than double by the time this fiscal year is over.

FY24’s budgets for the NYPD and departments of education and sanitation are slightly smaller. And the mayor is counting on the governor’s subway safety plan for some NYPD budget reimbursement.

“We are going to use every dollar I need to keep this city safe, I’m going to do that,” Adams said.

What the mayor says he probably won’t do is consider raising taxes on the highest income earners.

“Fifty-two percent of our taxes are paid by 2% of New Yorkers,” Adams said. “And those tax dollars by those 2% of high income earners are putting cops on our street, paving our highways, our schools, museums.”

The City Council is sounding the alarm over the vacancy cuts with the speaker saying, “The budget vision put forward by the administration to cut funding for CUNY, libraries, social services, early childhood education, and other essential services for New Yorkers is one this Council cannot support.”

But the mayor said they had a good conversation Thursday.

“I may be the pilot but she is the co-pilot, and we have to land this plane,” Adams said. “And we can’t land it without each other. And we’re going to have disagreements, but trust me, we are going to land this plane. And we will have a budget.”

Some may be asking where are the increases since this budget is a bit higher than the last,

There are big contract negotiations coming up with city labor unions, and they will be looking for raises.

Reducing the city’s carbon footprint is another increase so the city can meet upcoming targets. The city is also putting aside money into a rainy day fund.

But one item that doesn’t seem to be included is money to help future asylum seekers. The mayor still calling on the federal government for help.

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