New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released the following statement on Mayor Adams’ preliminary budget proposal:
“Mayor Adams put forward his first budget proposal as New York City is still rebounding from the pandemic and is facing an uneven economic recovery. The city’s outlook has improved, a result of some good fortune and more proactive planning, but it can do more to prepare for ongoing uncertainty and boost its reserves.
“A year after the city budgeted for its largest ever drop in property tax collections, a remarkable turnaround in property values emerged. The tentative property tax rolls now exceed the record 2021 level, three years earlier than anticipated. The city cautiously projects an additional $848 million in property tax revenue annually, given the state of the commercial real estate market and potential tax appeals. Wall Street profits are also expected to exceed record 2020 levels and contribute to non-property tax upside in FY 2022.
“At the same time, the restart of the Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) may generate nearly $2 billion in savings in FY 2022 and FY 2023. The majority of savings come from operational spending and significant vacancies at major agencies, both opportunities I have highlighted in recent months. Stronger than projected revenues and actions taken this year will allow the city to generate a projected surplus of $3.7 billion in FY 2022.
“While outyear budget gaps will average more than $2.6 billion, close to levels forecast in November, the plan begins to address more than $1.4 billion in risks my office has raised, including Fair Fares, charter school tuition, and educational transportation spending. The city also eliminated a $500 million annual risk from unidentified labor savings starting FY 2023 which will allow it to focus on managing its expired contracts, which now cover about half of its represented workforce. Risks from fiscal cliffs that will begin as one-time federal aid is exhausted remain a concern.
“I have also called for the city to bolster its reserve levels. This budget takes a small step in that direction, enhancing the general reserve by $55 million in FY 2023, and still includes a planned $500 million deposit into its rainy-day fund. More can be done as the fiscal year ends and the city’s budget surplus is likely to exceed current planned levels.
“My office will release a comprehensive analysis of the budget and financial plan in the coming weeks.”
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