WHY IS BUDGETING & PROPERTY TAX IMPORTANT?
By Wright for NYC 2020 Campaign Team
The city’s budget has rapidly expanded under de Blasio, with projected spending hitting $94.3 billion for the current fiscal year which ends June 30, 2020, according to the latest budget modification released in November. That’s a whopping $21.6 billion more than the last budget modification under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, shortly before de Blasio took office.
The city’s Office of Management and Budget predicts that spending will break the $100 billion mark within the next two fiscal years, a number that has fiscal watchdogs worried since savings and reserves haven’t increased at the same rate.
At the same time as the Council has called for more savings, it has also pushed the mayor to provide more funding for its priorities, sometimes in the hundreds of millions, and has been effective in baselining several programs that will continue to be funded. The new mayor will have to contend with that as well as any attempts by the governor to shift costs to the city, as he has done in the past.
There is also a “real” risk to the city budget from rising costs at three major entities – the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), NYC Health+Hospitals, which are city-run and supported by a mix of funding, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is effectively state-run, but with some city say via board seats, and receives city funding.
Another issue that will have a major impact on the city budget in 2021, and need collaboration in Albany is a potential push for property tax reform, which the current mayor has promised for years. Any changes to the antiquated and unequal property tax system will have to be revenue neutral for the city, which relies on property taxes for tens of billions of dollars annually to fund the city budget.