Bloomberg $70B budget has no new taxes, service cuts
No new taxes or cuts in basic city services were proposed Tuesday as Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled his $70.1-billion preliminary budget for fiscal 2014.
But a loss of $250 million in state education funding because of a dispute between Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers is likely to cause an immediate drop through attrition of 700 teachers and a reduction in the use of substitutes, Bloomberg said. A similar loss of about $245 million from the state is expected for the fiscal 2014, which begins July 1, he added.
Bloomberg took a shot at the teachers union, blaming it for refusing to come to an agreement with City Hall on a teacher evaluation system. The union has accused Bloomberg of torpedoing the negotiations with a "my way or the highway" stance.
The preliminary budget presented Tuesday totaling $70.1 billion is subject to negotiations between City Hall and the City Council during the next three months. Then the final budget is to be drawn up.
"The budget is balanced, there is no question about it," said Bloomberg, referring to the legal requirement that the city balance its books.
Balancing was done by the city making trims earlier of about $254 million in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The budget includes some $4.5 billion in costs and repairs related to superstorm Sandy. But that amount is going to be funded by the federal government through a $51 billion storm relief bill passed by Congress this week.
Police, fire and emergency services didn't face cuts in the new budget. A spokesman for the NYPD said the department would be able to continue to hire police officers at a rate sufficient to keep the force at its current level of 34,800 officers. The department employed about 41,000 officers in September 2001.
Bloomberg expects $220 million in increased tax revenue in fiscal 2014. But he also indicated the city was vulnerable to the potential loss of nearly $700 million in revenue from the sale of taxi medallions because of an adverse state Supreme Court ruling. That ruling is being appealed.