Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“After one of the most painful years in our City’s history, this budget puts us on a path to recovery while making responsible choices in light of steep revenue losses due to COVID-19,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday presented New York City’s Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2022.
The FY22 Preliminary Budget is $92.28 billion.
“After one of the most painful years in our City’s history, this budget puts us on a path to recovery while making responsible choices in light of steep revenue losses due to COVID-19. President-elect Biden will help our recovery by increasing FEMA reimbursement, and new Democratic majorities in Congress must move us forward with a federal COVID relief package that includes direct local aid,” de Blasio said.
COVID-19’S IMPACT ON THE BUDGET AND PROPERTY TAXES
This budget was crafted in light of the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the city and economy. The City’s suffered a substantial $10.5 billion drop in its tax revenue over FY20-22; this includes a $1.5 billion decline since November in this fiscal year and the next.
Property tax revenue declined by $2.5 billion dollars in FY22 due to a reduction in assessed property values, however this is partially offset by growth in Business and Personal Income taxes. This is the largest decline in property tax revenue since 1996.
LOCAL AID FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS KEY
The City has had to spend $5.9 billion on COVID-19 related expenses, approximately $1.3 billion of which is not currently covered by federal reimbursement. The incoming Biden Administration recently announced he plans to raise the reimbursement rate to 100 percent, which will provide approximately $1 billion in immediate relief. But the federal government has so far failed to pass a COVID relief package with direct local aid that makes up for our revenue loss. With Democratic majorities in Congress, a federal COVID relief package must be passed to speed up recovery. With direct local aid, New York City can be made whole again.
The State of New York has threatened to cut $8 billion from localities, which could mean up to $4 billion in cuts for New York City. In addition to aid from the federal government, the State should raise taxes on the wealthy to avoid devastating cuts that affect working people. The City will fight any cuts that harm New Yorkers, especially those concerning education, healthcare and Medicaid, de Blasio pledged.
Meanwhile, the federal government has allocated to New York State a total of $4 billion in federal stimulus aid for K-12 schools, and New York City is owed at least half (approximately $2 billion). The State must release this aid without supplantation, de Blasio said. This money will go toward reopening costs the City has already incurred, reopening needs for September and closing the COVID achievement gap.
INVESTMENTS FOR CRITICAL NEEDS
The FY22 Preliminary Budget invests in critical needs and COVID-19 related recovery, including:
- Stop COVID with Test & Trace Corps: $200 million in FY21
- Learning Bridges for students in hybrid learning: $62 million in FY21
- Ensuring no New Yorker goes hungry by providing food relief through GetFood NYC: $52 million in FY21
- Social and emotional learning for our students: $35 million in FY22
- Continue the expansion of WiFi in shelters: $14M in FY21, $3 million in FY22
- Extra resources for answering 311 calls when traffic is high due to COVID-19: $10 million in FY21 and $10 million in FY22.
- 70,000 slots for Summer Youth Employment: $132 million in FY22