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Demanding cut reversals, NYC Council projects $1.1B more in taxes over Mayor Adams’ latest estimate


With the annual municipal budget deadline fast approaching, the City Council’s Democratic leaders released a new analysis Tuesday estimating the city’s on track to rake in $1.1 billion more in tax revenue than what was recently projected by Mayor Adams’ office.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Council Finance Committee Chairman Justin Brannan — whose team has consistently estimated higher tax revenues than Adams’ office this budget cycle — seized on the latest projection as validation for their push to avert various spending cuts proposed and implemented by the mayor.

“Our city economy is resilient, and we have the resources to protect essential services that support working families and keep New Yorkers safe and healthy. New Yorkers are counting on us to get this right,” the top Council Dems said in a statement on the new projection. “Early childhood education, our public-school students, and CUNY must be priorities for us to build a stronger city. Cultural institutions, libraries, and parks are the foundation of our neighborhoods. And housing, mental health care, and programs that reduce recidivism and advance community safety are how we make New York City healthier and safer.”

The latest Council projection cites the $1.1 billion increase over the revenue estimate released by the mayor’s office last month to better-than-expected personal income, property, business and sales taxes. The Council estimate covers expected revenues over the current fiscal year and the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

City Council Member Justin Brannan
City Councilman Justin Brannan is pictured in Brooklyn on Monday, February 20, 2023. (Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News)

The April projection from the mayor’s team already adjusted its previous revenue estimate upward by $2.3 billion for the current and next fiscal years.

Despite that projected revenue bump, the mayor’s $111.6 billion executive budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year also released last month only included a handful of reversals of spending cuts he had previously proposed or enacted across a variety of municipal agencies. The cut reversals baked into the mayor’s executive plan included reinstating previously cancelled Police Academy classes and funding more seats for the city’s 3-K program.

Council leaders maintain there’s enough tax revenue money to avert just about all of the remaining cuts pushed by the mayor. The two sides are currently in negotiations for the 2025 fiscal year budget, which they must reach an agreement on by June 30.

Among the entities in the municipal bureaucracy that have been hit the hardest by the mayor’s budget cuts is the city’s three public library system.

Due to a cut enacted by the mayor in November, the library systems were forced to eliminate seven-day service at dozens of branches. The mayor’s executive budget proposal includes more cuts that would force the systems to also eliminate universal six-day service at their branches.

The New York Public Library Main Branch on 476 5th Avenue in Bryant Park. April 10, 2019 (Nina Cochran for New York Daily News)

Nina Cochran for New York Daily News

The New York Public Library’s Main Branch on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan is pictured on April 10, 2019. (Nina Cochran for New York Daily News)

Testifying in a City Council budget hearing Tuesday morning, the leaders of the New York, Queens and Brooklyn Public Library systems warned of the social impacts of abolishing six-day service, which many low-income New Yorkers rely on for everything from WiFi access to after-school programs.

“If the budget passes with this reduction, the impact on our services will be devastating to the communities we serve,” New York Public Library President Anthony Marx testified.

Responding to Marx’s concerns, Brannan said at the hearing: “You are preaching to the choir.”

Adams’ office did not immediately return a request for comment on the new Council analysis.

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