Added and Expanded NYC Programs Drive Increasing Budget Gap

Over the past decade, New York City-funded spending increased more than 50% while “recuring revenues has not kept pace.” Although the billions of dollars the city will spend on the influx of asylum seekers is a significant contributor to the fiscal shortfall, another major underlying cause of the widening budget gap “comes from years of added and expanded city programs that — at best — were supported only for a short time by non-recurring revenue or — at worst — not funded at all. Projections by the NYS Comptroller’s Office and the Citizens Budget Commission indicate that the budget gap for “next year could be $9.9 billion and possibly up to $13.8 billion.” Citing as an example, while the city and its unions agreed to reasonable raises for city workers, funding for the $16 billion added to the budget as a result was not identified. Mayor Eric Adams has approached the city’s impending “fiscal cliff” by rightly “directing city agencies to propose a round of 5% savings and be prepared for another two, amounting to nearly 15% in total;” and although “Adams’ four previous savings plans were helpful, new spending that was simultaneously added amounted to more than double the planned savings.” The two public and private watchdogs over New York City’s fiscal health provide a further course of action to “stabilize the budget and minimize any pain from cuts,” pointing out that “the challenges are real, the solutions tough, but a path is at hand.”