City maintains historic levels of reserves, protecting fiscal health
Mayor Bill de Blasio released New York City’s November Financial Plan Update on Thursday. The $83.46 billion Fiscal Year 2017 budget remains balanced, including $1 billion in savings in FY17 and FY18 and $719 million in FY19 and FY20. This marks the first time the de Blasio Administration has a Citywide Savings Program in the annual November budget update.
“This year’s Plan proves yet again that we can be both progressive and fiscally responsible,” said Mayor de Blasio. “With this updated budget, we are announcing $1 billion in savings – and our Plan to build on these savings during next year’s budget process. We are once again proving to New Yorkers that we will continue to prioritize the initiatives most important to the city’s future while protecting the City’s fiscal health.”
The Plan released Thursday reduces this year's tax revenue projection by $127 million. This shortfall will be covered by agency and debt service savings, which have also allowed the Administration to reduce the FY18 out-year gap by $576 million.
Click here to view the November Plan.
Increased Pension Contributions
The November Plan includes $120 million dedicated to covering pension fund obligations in FY18 in light of the fund’s underperformance this year. Pension fund performance will push city taxpayer contributions to $241 million in FY19, and $361 million in FY20. The City is required to cover any returns below an assumed fund growth rate of 7 percent. The funds grew 3.2 percent in FY15 and 1.5 percent in FY16.
The November Financial Plan recognizes savings, including:
- Contracting directly with storage service vendors to reduce annual costs by 40 percent, resulting in savings of $3.7 million annually beginning in FY18.
- Reducing use of paper checks by increasing the number employees and vendors paid electronically, and eliminating inter and intra agency checks, saving $1 million in FY18, $2 million in FY19 and $3 million in FY20.
- Using city vehicles more efficiently by expanding car sharing and intra-agency transfer of available vehicles, which will eliminate underutilized vehicles and reduce rental expenses, saving $10 million in FY18, $13 million in FY19 and $11 million in FY20.
- Debt service savings, equaling $151 million in FY17, $33 million in FY18, $72 million in FY19 and $83 million in FY20.
This budget maintains the unprecedented levels of reserves achieved by Mayor de Blasio:
- $4.0 billion in the Retiree Health Benefit Trust.
- $1 billion annually in the General Reserve.
- $500 million in the Capital Stabilization Reserve.