Statement on NYC Preliminary Budget for FY2018
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 continues an expansion of the scale of municipal government to a record size: in fiscal year 2018 the City will spend $87.1 billion, a 17 percent increase from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last budget, and municipal employment will exceed 327,000, a 9 percent increase from January 2014.
A significant portion of this growth is consistent with the implementation of the administration’s policy agenda, which includes proposals for expansion of pre-kindergarten programs, affordable housing initiatives, and improved mental health services. But a substantial portion of the expenditure growth derives from challenges managing serious problems, notably an inability to stem the growth in homelessness and in the reliance on overtime among city agencies.
More should be done to better manage a range of municipal services. The Mayor’s plan builds upon his earlier effort to achieve savings from efficiencies, but the scale is still relatively small. Approximately 18 percent of the Citywide Savings Plan is efficiency measures. The upcoming deliberations with the City Council should focus on how to better manage agencies with significant expenditure growth.