“Deepening the progress we’ve made over the last three years, this budget further invests in the foundations central to a strong, fair city – more classroom seats, enhanced traffic safety initiatives, crucial infrastructure upgrades and public safety progress. At the same time, in the face of economic and political uncertainty from Washington, this budget once again will save money through efficiency measures and invest further in reserve funds aimed at safeguarding our city's financial future.”
– Mayor Bill de Blasio“
Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio presented New York City’s Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18).
The FY18 Preliminary Budget is balanced, totaling $84.67 billion. In particular, this budget:
- Allocates resources to critical areas including public safety, investing in our infrastructure, improving our public schools and increasing affordability.
- Maintains reserves at unprecedented highs and continues to build on the Citywide Savings Program with another $1.1 billion in savings and a goal of $500 million more in the FY18 Executive Budget.
- Makes targeted investments, such as $6.3 million in expense funds for 200 new school crossing guards and 100 school crossing guard supervisors who will ensure the safety of our children, and $571 million in capital funds to ensure a state of good repair on our bridges through FY25.
RESPONDING TO THE UNKNOWN
Despite another year of economic growth and a national economy that remains strong, unknowns in Washington provide some reason for concern.
New York City is making targeted investments to strengthen the economy, ensure we stay on course and benefit New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Capital investments help drive the city’s impressive record on jobs, as well. When you compare our NYC to entire states, in 2014-2015 alone, New York City added more jobs than 46 states and employment growth across sectors is outpacing the country as a whole – these investments will build upon that foundation.
We are also forecasting some improvement in tax revenue growth in FY18. While tax revenue is expected to slow to 2.4 percent in FY17, we anticipate modest improvement to 3.9 percent in FY18.
The City does recognize the need to be cautious in the face of uncertainty. As a result, this administration has put a record amount of funding in reserves. Specifically:
- The General Reserve is at $1 billion in FY18 and every year of the financial plan, compared to the traditional $300 million.
- The Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund is at $4 billion, $3.3 billion the result of this Administration.
- The Capital Stabilization Reserve that was established under this Administration in FY16 has been modified to include $250 million in every year of the four-year plan, compared to the one-time $500 million previously established.
As a result, independent monitors and rating agencies continue to affirm the City’s strong budgetary management.
The Administration is also managing out-year gaps and continuing to find savings across City government. As of the Preliminary Budget, agency and debt savings will reduce expenses by $1.1 billion in FY17-18. This is addition to the $1 billion found in the FY17 November Plan and with more to come in the Executive Budget this spring.
TARGETED INVESTMENTS IN NYC’S FUTURE
This budget continues building upon three years of pursuing progressive policies while remaining fiscally responsible. Mayor de Blasio’s prior budgets have invested in priorities that can be felt across the five boroughs, such as 200,000 affordable housing units; free high-quality, full-day Pre-K for All; and moving nearly 2,000 additional NYPD officers onto the street.
The FY 2018 Preliminary Budget builds on that foundation through targeted investments that touch the lives of New Yorkers across the city:
- Hiring 200 part-time school crossing guards and 100 full-time school crossing guard supervisors to ensure 100 percent coverage at all school crossing posts citywide through $5.4 million in FY17 and $6.3 million in FY18.
- Keeping officers safe through the installation of bullet-proof window inserts - $5.2 million in FY17 and $5.2 million in FY18 – and upgrading the Rodman’s Neck Firearms Training Facility, a capital investment that will total $275 million over FY18-FY19.
- Building and maintaining pedestrian ramps to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, funded by an additional $478 million in FY17-FY27 capital investments.
- Ensuring thousands of NYCHA residents have fully functioning roofs due to a $1 billion capital commitment to repair 729 roofsover the next ten years.
- Keeping the Mayor’s commitment to complete the third water tunnel. An additional investment of $303 million in FY17-FY22 to ensure that the tunnel is activation-ready and can be used in the event of an emergency by the end of 2017 and fully fund remaining construction.
- An additional $571 million in FY17-FY21 capital funds to ensure astate of good repair on all city bridges through FY25.
- Street regrading projects in Southeast Queens to address flooding issues – an additional $162 million in capital funds from FY19-FY24.
- Continuing historic levels of road repaving through an additional $147 million in FY19 capital funds to increase lane miles resurfaced from 630 to 1,300.
- Build upon great progress made through Vision Zero by allocating an additional $317 million in capital funds for FY18-FY23 to fund new investments to reduce pedestrian fatalities, including pedestrian and traffic safety street reconstruction projects, signal improvements and street lighting at intersections.
- Renovation of the Orchard Beach Pavilion to restore direct beach access, renovate the seating area and space for potential concessions, through a capital commitment of $20 million in FY20-FY21.
- Funding for 22,800 School’s Out NYC (SONYC) slots for summer 2017, which costs $14.9 million in FY18.
- Adding an additional 5,000 slots in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to baseline the program at 65,000, funded by $9.3 million in FY18, $10.6 million in FY18 and $11.9 million in FY20 and out.
- $6.2 million in FY18 and out to establish new beacon programs in underserved communities and create cultural competency for training providers.
- Furthering Equity in Excellence through advancing the administration’s universal literacy program by the expansion ofSummer in the City (SITC). This program expansion, which will cost $1.9 million in FY17, $14.3 million in FY18 and $14.6 million in FY19 and out, will target second graders at risk academically in math and reading, allow 5,000 second- through fifth-grade students to participate in DYCD COMPASS programs, expand the career awareness program for Renewal high schools and expand summer programs from four hours to six.
- Funding critical upgrades and improvements to Special Education Student Information System to better deliver special education service. This is funded through $12.7 million in FY17 and $16.2 million in FY18 with additional funding in the out years.
- Improving internet speed in all of our schools through a commitment of $23.6 million in FY17, $16.4 million in FY18, $8.6 million in FY19, $11.2 million in FY20 and $11.5 million in FY21.
- Increasing K-12 capacity by adding $495 million in capital expenses in FY20-FY24 to keep the Mayor’s commitment to increase capacity for 38,487 new school seats at a total of $4.6 billion.
- Expanding Gun Violence Crisis Management to serve an additional 500 at-risk youth, for a total of 1,700, across seventeen neighborhoods with the highest rate of gun violence and hiring an additional 60 outreach workers at a cost of $4.5 million in FY18, continuing in the out years.
- Providing a wage increase to nearly 90,000 employees ofcontracted human service employees by 2020.