Mayor Bill de Blasio released a preliminary budget for the 2019 fiscal year this week which he emphasized will focus on investments that will make New York "the fairest big city in America."
"Every decision in this budget was weighed on whether it brought us closer to that goal," de Blasio said in a statement. "We have no illusions about the real threats we face from D.C. and Albany. That’s why we’re investing in our people while maintaining historic reserves and safeguarding our city’s financial future.”
5 things to know about the NYC budget:
1. The 2019 budget currently totals $88.67 billion, a spending increase of about $4 billion from what de Blasio proposed last year. In 2018, de Blasio’s preliminary budget totaled $84.85 billion.
2. Even though the city is proposing a spending increase, the de Blasio administration warned that officials are still analyzing how President Trump’s recently passed tax law — what the mayor’s office called "the most draconian tax law in recent history" — will impact the budget.
New York City’s “current total risk from Washington is up to $700 million,” according to the mayor’s office, which added that that number could increase depending on the president's budget expected later this month. The city’s public hospitals and low-income housing credit are especially threatened.
3. Due to that uncertainty, New York City is focusing on maintaining its reserves. The city’s general reserve fund is at $1 billion in fiscal year 2019. The Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund is at $4.25 billion.
As of this preliminary budget, “ agency, partial hiring freeze and debt savings will reduce expenses by $900 million in FY18-19,” according to the city, and more savings are expected once the executive budget is announced in the spring
4. This budget continues on investments made to programs that affect all five boroughs, including Pre-K for All and efforts to continue reducing the city’s record-low crime rate.
Specifically, the budget allocates $12 million to equip all NYPD patrol officers with body-worn cameras, $13 million to handle heating needs for residents in low-income housing, $5.2 million to protect tenants from construction harassment, $26 million to build four Pre-K locations, $8.2 million to expand anti-bullying efforts in schools, and more.
5. The mayor will work with the City Council to negotiate a fiscal plan and the budget will be finalized by the start of the fiscal year on July 1, 2018.
“In this current climate, agencies and the administration as a whole must be held to a higher standard to ensure we are doing all we can to protect our most vital social safety net programs by boosting our reserves and streamlining resources for the long term,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Chairs Dromm and Gibson and all of my colleagues as we ensure that the Council is an equal partner throughout the budget process.”