Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently released the New York City Executive Budget for the 2013 fiscal year. While the mayor lauded the $68.7 billion plan as a “balanced budget with no tax increases,” the City Council believes the preliminary budget still contains substantial and unacceptable cuts to services for families and communities.
Of the $68.7 billion proposal, the city-funded portion accounts for around $51 billion. According to the mayor, the executive budget reduces year-over-year controllable city expenditures by $110 million from FY 2012, but expenses that are not fully controlled by the city continue to rise and continue to make less funding available for city services. (Expenses not controllable include pensions, health care, Medicaid and debt service.) As such, the budget relies on $6.2 billion in savings for FY 2013 generated through 11 rounds of deficit closing actions taken by city agencies since 2007.
Those agency budget savings actions proposed by Mayor Bloomberg in November 2011, combined, the mayor said, to “produce a savings of $464 million in FY 2012 and $1 billion in FY 2013.” The proposed budget does not include any additional agency savings actions beyond what was originally proposed in November.
One of the most scrutinized items in the budget is monies allocated to education. “Our budget won’t impose any new taxes on New Yorkers, maintains the strength of the NYPD and continues our strong support for public schools,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is also a possible contender in the 2013 mayoral race, while pleased that the budget spares education, elicited concern about other cuts that were made. She believes that the mayor’s budget contains substantial and unacceptable cuts to services, especially for families and communities that need them the most.