Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

General Questions

What does the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget do?

The Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the City of New York’s chief financial agency. OMB staff assemble and oversee both the expense and capital budgets. The Agency is also charged with overseeing the budgets of more than 90 City agencies and entities, evaluating the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of City services and proposals, and providing vital information to government officials on the local, national, and world economies. Additionally, OMB helps implement the City's borrowing and bond programs and conducts legal reviews of capital projects for financing with bond proceeds.

The Agency is responsible for monitoring and allocating federal and state grant funds, including FEMA and HUD funds that helped the City rebuild after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and federal stimulus funds that have been critical towards the city’s recovery during the COVID-19 crisis.

For more information, please read our About OMB page.

What is a budget?

The City budget reflects anticipated income and planned spending over a fiscal year and reflects the choices and priorities of the Mayor and City Council in allocating public resources. It shows how various City entities plan to invest resources to educate our children, provide law enforcement and emergency services, deliver healthcare, provide housing and social services, fund cultural institutions, and much more.

The Budget shows how much income, known as “revenue,” the City expects to receive in a given year. Revenues are primarily derived from property, business and income taxes, and federal and state grant funds.

The City has balanced every annual budget since 1981.

OMB takes pride in transparency and presenting the City expense and capital budgets, along with methodologies and narrative explanations, in many different ways across more than 30 budget documents.

For more information about budget publications, please read our Budget Publications Descriptions page.

When does the City's fiscal year begin and end?

The fiscal year begins on July 1st of one calendar year and ends on June 30th of the following calendar year.

Do you publish anything that will help me to understand budget terminology?

Budget documents can be complex. To assist your reading and understanding, OMB publishes a helpful Glossary of Terms that defines words and phrases that are used throughout our publications.

Where can I learn more about New York City budget documents and publications?

They can be read and downloaded from the Publications page. You can review Budget Publication Descriptions here.

Can I work for OMB?

Please read the current job opportunities listed on our Careers page.

The Expense Budget

What is the Expense Budget?

The Expense budget is essentially the city’s operating budget for a single year. It funds government services like police and fire protection, social services, healthcare, education, and every day needs like office supplies, rent and utilities, and vendor services. It is split into two categories:

  • Personal Services: includes salaries and fringe benefits of City employees

  • Other Than Personal Services: expenses other than salaries and fringe benefits such as supplies, equipment, utilities and contractual services.

What is the size of the City’s Expense budget?

The Fiscal Year 2022 expense budget is $109.0 billion, and the Fiscal Year 2023 expense budget is $99.7 billion.

How often does the City put out a budget?

New York City has a unique budget cycle. Most public entities propose and adopt a single annual budget. New York City releases four expense plans each year —a Preliminary Budget in January, an Executive Budget in April, an Adopted Budget, which is approved by the City Council, in June, and a modification that must be released by the end of the calendar year. Each of these plans include an adjustment of current year expenditures, a revenue forecast, and a projection of how these adjustments will affect future years. You can review the current Financial Plan here.

The City’s budget cycle provides transparency and promotes fiscal responsibility by assuring New Yorkers and fiscal monitors that the current year budget remains balanced and that the Administration’s financial planning remains sound.


NYC OMB's Budget Cycle graphic
New York City Budget Cycle according to the City Charter. All dates are subject to change by the City Council.


What is the November Financial Plan?

In November the Mayor submits revisions to the current year budget and three subsequent years.

What is the Preliminary Budget?

The Preliminary Budget is scheduled to be released in January. It is the Mayor’s budget proposal for operating and capital expenditures and revenues forecasts for the current fiscal year, upcoming fiscal year, and three subsequent years. The current and upcoming fiscal year must be balanced.

What is the Executive Budget?

The Executive Budget is scheduled to be released by the Mayor in April. It shows revenue forecasts and a proposal for operating and capital expenditures for the current and upcoming fiscal year, plus three subsequent years. It is accompanied by the Message of the Mayor, a publication that describes the highlights and objectives of the Executive Budget.

What is the Adopted Budget?

After an Executive Budget has been released by the Mayor, it is reviewed and revised by the City Council and Borough Presidents. If approved by the Council by a majority vote the budget becomes “adopted” before the fiscal year begins in July.

What is a Financial Plan?

Each time the City puts out a new budget it also presents detailed information about modifications to revenue forecasts and planned expenses several years into the future. The current year budget along with spending plans in upcoming years are known together as the Financial Plan.

You can review the most recent Financial Plan here.

Does the City set aside funds for the future?

We can invest resources to fill unexpected future needs. There are a number of ways to do this, including funding the General Reserve and Rainy Day Fund.

How does the City save taxpayers’ money?

There are a number of ways to save taxpayer resources and help close budget gaps:

  • Efficiencies: changes to Agency practices that save funds by lowering spending, optimizing, or increasing revenue collection.
  • Underspending and re-estimates: includes lower than expected spending due to delay or reduced costs and using state or federal grant funds in place of City resources
  • Service reductions: scaling back programs or services
  • Debt service: lower than expected cost of financing the City’s capital program

You can review the most recent Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) here.

Where do the City's revenues come from?

New York City has a very broad revenue base which includes City taxes, user charges, federal and State grants, and other sources such as licenses, permits, and fines. We publish detailed information about City revenue sources including the Revenue Financial Plan Detail which details updated revenue estimates for each year of the financial plan, contains citywide summaries and shows plan-to-plan revenue changes.

How much of the City's budget is made up of federal and state funds?

In Fiscal Year 2022, federal and state grant funds comprise $35.6 billion of the City’s expense budget.

How does OMB forecast New York City’s tax revenue?

OMB issues tax forecasts throughout the fiscal year. Our economists base the forecast on current economic conditions and historic patterns. Because the City budget must be balanced, we cannot spend more than we take in as revenue, so our revenue forecasts are traditionally cautious. You can review a report detailing the methodologies used by OMB to project revenues from taxes such as real property (the City’s single largest tax revenue source), personal income, and business taxes, here.

The Capital Budget

What is the Capital Budget?

It funds the construction, reconstruction, and acquisition of capital assets, such as building and renovating schools, purchasing vehicles and equipment including firetrucks and computer network systems. In order to meet eligibility requirements for Capital Budget funding, a project must meet the requirements of New York State law and New York City Comptroller's accounting directives.

For requirements governing capital eligibility please read the Comptroller’s Directive #10, it’s revision history, the amendment governing computer hardware and systems, and explanations given in the Comptroller’s related FAQ.

How does the City pay for capital projects?

The Capital Budget is funded by multiple sources including proceeds from general obligation bonds issued by New York City, the New York City Transitional Finance Authority, and the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority, as well as grants from Federal, State and private sources.

Does the City show how it plans to invest in capital projects?

The Mayor publishes proposed Capital Commitment Plans alongside the Preliminary Budget in January and the Executive Budget in April. The Mayor releases a third Plan, called the Adopted Capital Commitment Plan, in the Fall. In this plan, OMB reviews and authorizes capital projects for the current and three following fiscal years.

You can review the current Capital Commitment Plan here.

In odd-numbered years the Administration, in partnership with the Department of City Planning, releases a Ten-Year Capital Strategy (TYCS) along with the Executive Budget. The TYCS details how we plan to invest capital funds over the next decade to improve infrastructure, including roads, schools, bridges, water and sewer facilities, and transportation systems in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. It establishes long-range programmatic goals and sets forth priorities for the City to maintain its existing physical plant in a state of good repair and allows for programmatic replacement of components and program expansion.

The Ten-Year Capital Strategy reflects a broad, long term vision of the City’s capital plan and is separate and distinct from the City’s adopted Capital Budget and four-year Capital Commitment Plan which, due to the passage of time and other factors, reflect changes from the Ten-Year Capital Strategy.

You can review the most recent TYCS here.