In a fiscal climate plagued with uncertainty resulting from threatened budget cuts at the federal level, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released his budget proposals for fiscal year 2018 this past April.
The FY18 executive budget is balanced, and totals nearly $85 billion. It targets new investments in education, public safety, and affordability, while deepening previous budget commitments that make a difference in the lives of every New Yorker. The budget increase over 2017 is 3.25 percent. De Blasio’s 2017 budget was an increase of 9.5 percent over 2016, the last budget presented by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
‘In the face of continued uncertainty,” de Blasio said in a statement, “it is more important than ever that cities make smart, targeted investments aimed at improving people’s lives. We cannot respond to threats of funding cuts by pulling back on our own investments or values. Instead, we must continue to make this city a place where everyone can have a chance to succeed. It is our duty to continue building a New York City that is stronger and fairer than it’s ever been before.”
With today’s level of fiscal uncertainty, the latest budget responds to these new realities by recognizing the need to be cautious. As a result, the administration has set the largest reserves in New York City’s history. There will be $1 billion each year put into the General Reserve, compared to $300 million annually under prior administrations. The Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund will be funded with $4 billion, of which $3.3 billion is coming from this administration. The Capital Stabilization Reserve established by the de Blasio administration will receive $250 million every year for the next four years. Debt savings over this and the prior budget totals $2.8 billion, of which $700 million is coming from this executive budget.
The new budget also continues to build on initiatives begun under the prior budget. Areas to note are as follows: