Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves a billion dollar budget for NYC that includes cuts and add ons.
New York City mayor Eric Adams detailed his vision for the city, using his first executive budget proposal to showcase his intention to curtail some of the city’s free spending cutting funding to most city agencies and pointedly avoiding an increase in the police budget. He argued that he could improve public safety without increasing police spending by moving officers from desks to the streets.
“We’re going to redeploy our manpower, we’re going to make sure that everyone who is supposed to be on the streets doing their job is doing their job, and then we will make the analysis if we have to put more money into it,” Adams said at a news conference at City Hall.
Adams’s $98.5 billion spending plan marked a break with his predecessor, Bill de Blasio. Adams called for a gradual reduction in a municipal work force that had risen to a historic high under DeBlasio.
He decided to keep several agencies from making the 3 percent budget cuts, including the Correction Department, which is facing a crisis at the Rikers jail complex, and the Health Department, which is overseeing the pandemic response.
Adams said the city was facing “mixed economic signals” as it recovers from the pandemic. He said that he was worried about a high unemployment rate and workers delaying their return to offices. He said he spoke with dozens of business leaders on Wednesday morning and urged them to bring workers back immediately. “New York City can’t run from home,” he said, before adding: “It is time to get back to work.
The mayor said that the city projected that it would receive $1.6 billion more tax revenue in the current fiscal year than what was originally predicted, because of higher than expected personal and business income taxes, sales taxes and transaction taxes. Higher property tax values contributed to a $726 million increase in revenue for the next fiscal year.
Adams’s budget is similar to the current budget, which is $107 billion, slightly higher than the total cost of Adams’s spending plan when it is adjusted to include all outstanding spending obligations and federal contributions. A key part of de Blasio’s legacy was the expansion of the city budget, and its work force. His final budget was more than $25 billion higher than in 2014. The city work force rose to more than 325,000 employees, its highest level ever.
Union leaders, and others who might oppose job losses and who must negotiate new contracts with Adams, were unusually silent. A major police union, the Police Benevolent Association, and District Council 37, the largest public employee union, both declined to comment on the budget. Adams, who was heavily supported by unions in the election, might have appeased them by noting in his budget proposal that he planned to eliminate $500 million in unidentified labor savings from future budgets. Adams argued that his budget plan focused on “equity, justice and safety,” and predicted “an urban renaissance unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes.”