Statement City Budget

CBC Statement on NYC FY19 Preliminary Budget: Wait and See All Over Again

February 01, 2018

Today, CBC President Carol Kellermann issued a statement on behalf of the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) regarding the New York City Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2019:

"New York City's Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 continues the 'wait-and-see' approach of the previous budget update in November; it neither addresses issues spawned by the recently enacted federal tax law and possible budget cuts nor pending State actions that could reduce resources available for city services. Most importantly, no additions will be made to the City's reserves.

A positive development is that the cost of new agency needs will be offset by the Citywide Savings Program; however, this program relies too much on dwindling debt service savings and State and federal reimbursement and not enough on saving from making government more efficient.

Before the going gets tough, the Mayor should get going by limiting spending growth, bolstering the savings plan, and adding to reserves."

Earlier this week, CBC recommended four strategies to attain fiscal stability:

  1. Contain spending growth;
  2. Build reserves;
  3. Adapt the capital plan to a resource constrained environment; and
  4. Strengthen finances at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and NYC Health+Hospitals (H+H).

The plan makes no progress on building reserves (and no additions to the Retiree Health Benefit Trust) or reforming the capital plan through "right-sizing" and "right-timing." Spending growth continues to surpass inflation and the finances at H+H and NYCHA remain precarious.