January 21, 2016
This budget builds on the strong economic foundation we've created, reaffirming our commitment to responsible government that meets challenges head on. We're addressing the needs of New Yorkers through targeted investments in public safety, quality of life, vital social services, education, and more, while protecting the city against the many risks ahead.
– Mayor Bill de Blasio
Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio presented New York City’s Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17).
The FY17 preliminary budget is balanced, totaling $82.1 billion, with the increase over the prior budget attributable to the new recognition of federal grants, as well as targeted investments in the City’s fiscal health and future. In particular, this budget:
- Recognizes a strong local economy – including dramatic outer-borough job growth – as well as the many risks and uncertainties ahead.
- Maintains reserves at unprecedented highs and continues to build on the Citywide Savings Program with another $1 billion in savings, while funding vital needs such as pension obligations.
- Makes targeted investments, such as $12.1 million in expense funds for 327 new Traffic Enforcement Agents that will improve traffic flow and safety, and $868 million in capital to reduce school overcrowding through 11,800 new seats.
Click here to view the FY17 Preliminary Budget.
ECONOMIC GROWTH – AND RISKS
Despite another year of strong economic growth, risks and uncertainties continue to grow.
New York City’s local economy is strong, adding over 200,000 new jobs since January 2014 –the highest two-year gain ever – for a total of 4.2 million jobs That job growth is particularly pronounced in the outer-boroughs, with 5.8 percent growth in Brooklyn, 3.9 percent growth in Queens, 3.4 percent growth in the Bronx, and 2.9 percent growth on Staten Island – in 2014 alone. The economy is more diverse than ever; for example, 2014 saw a 10 percent growth in NYC’s tech sector. NYC’s population increased by over half a million people between 2000 and 2014, and the city saw an all-time high of 58.3 million visitors in 2015.
However, it’s clear that many New Yorkers are still struggling even as the economy grows – and major risks loom ahead. Wage growth has primarily benefitted the highest-paid, as income inequality continues to grow. Meanwhile, global stock markets have lost trillions since January 1, 2016, as retail sales and industrial production decline and business spending remains slow.
The last recession in 2008 – which was not predicted by the country’s top economists – led to dramatic losses on the federal and local levels, including a $12.5 billion impact on NYC taxpayers ($7 billion spent in reserves; $2 billion in increased taxes; $3.5 billion cut to vital services).
These risks are why the de Blasio administration has continued to strengthen the City’s long-term fiscal position; independent monitors and rating agencies continue to affirm the City’s strong budgetary management.
Mayor de Blasio boosted the City’s reserves to unprecedented highs, which are maintained in the Preliminary Budget, including:
- $1 billion each year in the General Reserve
- $3.4 billion in the Retiree Health Benefit Trust
- $500 million in the newly-created Capital Stabilization Reserve
The administration is also managing out-year gaps and continuing to find savings across City government. As of the Preliminary Budget, agency and debt savings will reduce expenses by over $1 billion in FY16-17, with more to come in the Executive Budget this spring.
When Mayor de Blasio took office on January 1, 2014, all of the City’s labor contracts were expired. Since then, the City has settled almost all contracts – covering 94 percent of the workforce – through responsible settlements with both civilian and uniformed employees, while securing $3.4 billion in unprecedented, guaranteed healthcare savings geared toward bending the cost curve.
The administration is also meeting obligations to the five pension systems, with a target of 100 percent funding by 2032. This includes adding approximately $600 million per year for costs stemming from the Chief Actuary’s new mortality projections, which show increased lifespans for City employees.
NYC Health + Hospitals, the City’s public hospital system, provides a vital lifeline for the most vulnerable New Yorkers; one in six New Yorkers have been treated through its hospitals, clinics, and other facilities. With federal and state reimbursement rates continuing to be cut, Health + Hospitals is working to transform its operating model. As this continues, the City will provide $337 million to cover pressing needs.
TARGETED INVESTMENTS IN NYC’S FUTURE
Mayor de Blasio’s prior two budgets have invested in priorities such as 200,000 affordable housing units; free high-quality, full-day Pre-K for All; an aggressive new effort to tackle homelessness; and moving nearly 2,000 additional NYPD officers onto the street.
The FY2017 Preliminary Budget builds on that foundation through targeted investments aimed at lifting up families across the five boroughs:
- $15 minimum wage for all City employees and contracted social service workers – impacting 50,000 New Yorkers – through $115 million when fully implemented.
- A robust plan to combat homelessness, with additional FY17 investments of $8 million for a Shelter Repair Squad 2.0; $12.3 million to move New Yorkers out of illegal, unsafe, and unstable ¾ housing to permanent homes; $4 million for Homebase Prevention to double the number of single adults at risk of homelessness assisted to stay in their homes; $16.9 million for adult shelter programming to help over 10,000 clients find employment; and $12.5 million to operate the first of 15,000 new supportive housing units.
- An unprecedented effort to bring mental healthcare where it&'s needed through $62 million in FY17 for ThriveNYC, which includes the NYC Mental Health Corps and Mental Health First Aid training.
- NYC Safe – to treat the mentally ill who may pose a threat to public safety – through a $17.4 million investment in FY17.
- An expansion of ShotSpotter that more than doubles the coverage area and includes precincts in all five boroughs, through an additional $3 million a year.
- Continued investment in the Department of Correction's 14-Point Anti-Violence Plan for Rikers ($41.3 million in FY17) and training, technology, and enhanced staffing ($58.3 million in FY17).
- Expanded FDNY ambulance tours in Manhattan and Queens, and EMS pilot initiatives in the Bronx, to build on prior investments and improve response times, with $5.4 million in FY17.
- A 30 percent increase in security in City parks, through 67 new Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers and 50 seasonal staff, with $5.3 million in FY17.
- A continued expansion of Vision Zero and improved traffic flow and safety, through $128 million in capital (including $115 million for major improvements on school routes and key thoroughfares), $12.1 million in expense in FY17 for 327 new Traffic Enforcement Agents, $4.4 million in expense to maintain speed cameras and develop new street reconstruction projects, and $13 million for 100 new Select Bus Service cameras.
- A new Staten Island Ferry, with $47 million in capital to complete funding for a new 4,500 passenger vessel, meaning the City will now replace three aging ferries.
- More than tripling the number of households with curbside composting, bringing the total to approximately 607,000, with $7.5 million in FY16. Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC plan committed the City to expanding composting options to all New Yorkers by the end of 2018.
- Tackling school overcrowding through $868 million in the School Construction Authority's Five Year Capital Plan, which will add 11,800 new seats (bringing the total for this plan to over 44,000 new seats).
- As part of Mayor de Blasio's Equity and Excellence education plan, $76.7 million in FY17 for Algebra for All, AP for All, college visits, district-charter learning partnerships, Single Shepherd dedicated graduation and college counseling, and Universal Second Grade Literacy. The Mayor's plan also includes a previously budgeted major investment in Computer Science for All.
- Raising the Fair Student Funding floor at all schools to at least 87 percent – and ensuring a citywide average of 91 percent – through an unprecedented investment of $159 million in FY17. This will provide vital education resources to students in historically-underfunded districts.
- Ending the AIDS Epidemic starting with $23 million a year in total funds in FY17 for prevention and health care to ultimately enable 200,000 people per year to receive services, as well as $44 million a year at full ramp up (starting with $26 million in FY17) for the City's share of a commitment to HASA For All.
- Preventing elder abuse through partnering with the City Council to baseline previous funding and invest an additional $1.5 million to establish citywide specialized teams that will address complex cases.
- A new Synthetic Cannabinoid (K2) Enforcement Investigative Group, with $700,000.