It’s all preliminary – but New York City Mayor Eric Adams released some cold hard numbers Thursday to kick off the fiscal year 2024 budget process. Much of this will change between now and July 1, when the new fiscal year begins. And it could even change more than usual, as the City Council is expected to mount a more aggressive response to the mayor’s attempts to project fiscal discipline – including across-the-board cuts.
Here are some of the top numbers you need to know to understand the city’s finances.
$102.7 billion – The total proposed expense budget for fiscal 2024. That’s an increase from the $101.1 billion budget that was adopted last June. It would be the biggest budget passed in city history – and the topline number typically increases before adoption.
$106.4 billion – How much the city projects it will spend in fiscal year 2023, which is halfway over. Budgets often change throughout the year, and Adams said revenue is now coming in $1.7 billion higher than the earlier, conservative forecasts.
4.75% – The cut to expenses each agency was expected to make for 2024. Adams doesn’t expect the good-ish times to roll, so his budget office enacted a new program to eliminate the gap, or PEG, in September.
“Nearly 40,000” – The number of asylum-seekers that have come to the city in recent months, according to Adams. The mayor claimed that the associated costs of housing and providing services will cost the city more than $1 billion this year, though that number seems to be more of a placeholder, as City Hall has declined to provide specific accounting.
4,309 – The number of vacant jobs removed from the city’s books for fiscal 2024, one of the largest sources of savings in the budget. The city has had trouble filling positions, and the full time city employee headcount is about 301,000 – tens of thousands of people lower than the average over the past decade.
$3.2 billion – The projected budget gap to close in fiscal year 2025, and the gaps only grow beyond that. But the Independent Budget Office, the City Council’s budget office and others have a less dire outlook for the city – giving them justification to push the mayor to spend more on services, and focus less on savings and cuts.
June 27, 2023 – The date of the 2023 primary election, when every single New York City Council member will be up for reelection. It’s also right around the time the council could end up passing the new budget ahead of a July 1 deadline. It’s a recipe for political grandstanding and protest votes.