Mayor de Blasio released a New York City financial plan update on Tuesday, delineating a stable expense budget, the allocation of moneys to the administration’s agendas and record high reserves.The update addresses the 2015 fiscal year and a four-year plan that will carry through de Blasio’s mayoral administration. A previous plan was released in June, and according to the mayor’s report, the City is largely spending as projected.
“It’s still early in the de Blasio administration’s tenure but so far you don’t see, as some feared, big new expenditures,” said Doug Turetsky, a spokesperson for the Independent Budget Office, a publicly funded agency that provides nonpartisan information about New York City’s budget.
“You see some new expenditures, but they’re not large in the context of a now-$76 billion budget,” said Turetsky of the budget’s increase, a result of the City recognizing $1.5 billion in federal funding.
Among key points mentioned in the budget update is a series of programmatic changes that will “move forward the administration’s agenda,” including a $28.9 million investment in in-service training at the NYPD as well as $13.7 million that will go towards increasing NYPD presence in precincts with the highest number of shootings in previous years.
“Certainly they’re responding to issues that have come up in recent weeks,” said Turetsky, referring to the shooting of an innocent man in a Brooklyn housing project, among other violent incidents. “It’s a key part of their policy initiatives. But again, the Police Department has a $4 billion budget, so yes these are new expenditures, but it’s a relatively small investment in what they hope will be better policing.”
A closing note on de Blasio’s update mentions that the City’s reserves remain at “historic highs,” which Turetsky said is a reference to NYC’s current $750 million general reserve, up over $300 million from the reserves during the Bloomberg administration. The law states the reserve must not fall under $100 million, giving the City a great deal of breathing room.
“It’s a buffer,” said Turetsky. “In case some unexpected large expenditures come in, you’ve got some money built into the budget already to help you take care of them.”