Flush into his second term as the city’s chief executive, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proposes a $52.7 billion budget plan for 2007 and updated his four-year financial plan for New York City in an attempt to keep the city’s finances on solid ground.
The budget controls costs in the near term providing for surplus funds up to fiscal year 2009. Part of that newfound cash comes from approximately $3.4 billion in FY ’06 resources to help close the budget gap in FY ’07, according to the mayor’s office. The budget also includes $6.5 billion in state funding to cover 50 percent of the city’s five-year capital education plan, and funding is provided to secure health benefits for current and future retirees.
“New York’s economy is growing, our streets are safe and people from around the world are flocking here to visit and live,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This year’s budget is strong and stable, but long-term financial problems persist and the out-year budget gaps loom large. Now is the time to plan for eventual downturns and to use the extraordinary one-shot revenues to help secure the long-term growth and fiscal stability of the city. This budget includes $2 billion for future health care costs and uses surpluses for pay-as-you-go capital and debt relief. Today’s investment in our city’s future will not only soften the blow from the invariable downturn in the city’s economy, but ensure that New York continues to grow and prosper.”
The Independent Budget Office (IBO), a bipartisan agency that analyzes the city’s financial health, cites the mayor’s consistency. The executive budget plan and four-
year financial plan, says IBO director Ronnie Lowenstein, “follows much the same pattern as his other recent budget plans: There is a swell of unanticipated tax revenues that create a large surplus in the current fiscal year, followed by expectations of steep shortfalls in the future.”