Along with the Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2016, this week Mayor Bill de Blasio will unveil a Ten-Year Capital Strategy, the City’s blueprint for long-term capital investments. This blog presents four things to look for in the Strategy.
The New York City Housing Authority is the largest in the nation, with more than 178,000 housing units at an annual operating cost of $2.6 billion. NYCHA has struggled with operating deficits in the last decade, and those deficits have significantly affected conditions at many developments. This report identifies the reasons for those deficits - insufficent operating subsidies, low rent collections, low nonrental income and high operating costs - and offers recommendations to increase revenues, curb expenses and improve productivity in order to eliminate NYCHA's projected $150 million deficit and improve conditions for its residents.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has thus far declined to require city agencies to meet targets for increasing efficiency in the delivery of government services. In doing so, he has broken a pattern established by every mayor since the fiscal crisis in the 1970s, and he's taking a gamble that may come back to haunt the city's taxpayers.
The CBC today announces the appointment of four Public Policy Fellows who will work with CBC staff during the academic year commencing in September. The Fellows Program was launched last September to recognize and engage outstanding graduate students in their final year of a master’s degree program at one of New York’s schools of public policy.
Shakespeare’s immortal lines and City budget jargon rarely have much in common, but Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reluctance to include a Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) in his financial plans calls to mind Juliet’s reflections on what it means to be a Montague. The Mayor voices heartfelt interest in finding ways to save money, but he does not want to call it a PEG or put such name in his plan, at least in part because of its identification with prior administrations.
Since 2011 New York leaders have restrained growth in the state’s operating budget; in contrast, the scale and scope of questionable economic development programs continue to be expanded significantly. In 2014 state and local spending for these activities totaled $8 billion, largely capital grants and business tax breaks outside the operating budget. Despite scant evidence such spending boosts economic activity, the fiscal year 2016 state budget adds $2 billion to economic development programs.
According to current forecasts from its outside monitors, New York City government will generate significant surplus revenue for the next four years, meaning the city will exceed the longest economic expansion in modern history in terms of tax revenue growth and match it in length.
The fiscal year 2016 state budget enacted last week includes a 6.0 percent increase in annual formula-based aid to school districts from $21.8 billion to $23.1 billion. This is the third consecutive year in which the Governor and the legislature have busted the statutory growth cap they agreed upon in 2011.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs about $32 billion over the next five years to repair, replace and improve its facilities, notably the vast and essential mass transit system. It only has about $13 billion.