Bloomberg Budget Calls for Cuts
Feb. 13, 2002
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first budget, released Wednesday in the midst of the city's worst fiscal situation in years, would cut city departments by up to 26 percent to close a $4.76 billion deficit.
The roughly $40 billion budget includes reductions in education and the police and fire departments, but does not call for new taxes or layoffs.
Bloomberg also will seek to borrow $1.5 billion in city bonds and $800 million from the state and federal governments to balance a deficit exacerbated by economic fallout following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
It would reduce by $39.3 million subsidies to the library system; postpone an expansion of day care, saving $80 million; and make changes in the city's recycling program, which would save $57 million.
The budget also includes trimming jobs from the police department, however mayor's spokesman Ed Skyler said 1,600 police officers have recently retired, leaving police staffing at 39,100. He said the budget would maintain that level. The budget calls for hiring 73 firefighters to reduce overtime costs.
Among Bloomberg's other proposed cuts, the Board of Education budget would be slashed by $361 million or 7 percent; the Police Department's budget would be reduced by $212 million or 7 percent; the Fire Department would be trimmed by $62 million or 6 percent; homeless services would be cut by $38 million or 17 percent; and the Department of Housing and Preservation Development would be reduced by $18.6 million or 26 percent.
The Office of the Mayor, the borough presidents' offices, the City Council, and the comptroller and public advocate's offices would all be cut by 20 percent.
The spending plan must be approved by the City Council, which is expected to come to a final agreement by June. The city's new fiscal year begins July 1.