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Mayor Slashes Billions from City Budget in Response to Coronavirus Fallout

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced billions in budget cuts today (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

April 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that he plans to slash billions of dollars from the city’s budget for the 2021 fiscal year that begins July 1.

He has proposed cutting $2.7 billion in funding to ease a loss of tax revenue that the city estimates to be $7.4 billion over the remainder of this fiscal year and the next — a number de Blasio called “a horrifying figure.”

The new executive budget will be $89.3 billion, he announced — $6 billion less than the initial budget he proposed in January and $3.4 billion less than the budget for the current fiscal year.

The budget will focus on funding initiatives that keep people safe and healthy– particularly programs that house and feed residents, de Blasio said.

Many programs will be cut, including summer programs for children. The city’s public pools will be shut saving $12 million– and public beaches are likely to be closed too. However, the pool closures stem from the need to stop large gatherings and ensure social distancing, the mayor said.

The mayor called the budget cuts tough and painful, but said “they had to be done.”

“Things that we would love to focus on in peacetime, we don’t get to focused on in wartime,” de Blasio said of the pandemic.” And this in effect is wartime.”

He said the city would also be pulling money from its budget reserves to counter the revenue loss.

Still, the mayor called on the federal government to help New York City cover the budget gap — asking for the $7.4 billion the city expects to lose.

New York City has received $1.4 billion from the federal government already — a small number, the mayor said, in comparison to $58 billion bailout of the airline industry.

“How about bailing out the nation’s largest City? How about bailing out the epicenter of this crisis where people have been suffering?” de Blasio pleaded.

“We’re still waiting,” he added.

He said he spoke to President Donald Trump yesterday and asked him to remember his hometown in its time of need.

“I made clear to the president that his hometown needs him,” de Blasio said of the commander-in-chief, who hails from Queens.

“If President Trump raises his voice, the Republican Senate will follow period,” he said. “Haven’t heard his voice yet, I want to give him an opportunity to do the right thing. So, President Trump, here’s my appeal to you, help us back on our feet.”

The budget will be finalized in June before it takes effect on July 1.

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