NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council agreed on a massive new budget for the Big Apple on Monday.
So what exactly will your taxpayer money be spent on? CBS2’s Andrea Grymes has some of the answers.
New York City will become the first city to directly fund abortions. The new $92.8 billion budget agreement allocates $250,000 for abortion access for low-income women.
CBS2 urban affairs expert Mark Peters said that may seem like a drop in the bucket, but it’s significant.
“It’s not a lot of money, but it’s the first time that a governmental entity is taking steps to try to counter all of the anti-abortion laws in states all over the country,” Peters said.
Your taxpayer dollars are also going towards numerous other programs and initiatives, including:
* $33 million for libraries — to help fund things like English language classes for immigrants.
* $43 million for city parks, which in part will help hire more maintenance staff.
* $60 million to help retrofit city buildings as part of the city’s Green New Deal.
* $1.5 million to install “rumbler” sirens on FDNY vehicles to help reduce noise pollution.
* First lady Chirlane McCray’s mental health program — Thrive NYC — is taking a $20 million cut. The mayor said $11 million of that will be reinvested in a social worker program for city schools.
Mayor de Blasio touted about $250 million added to the city’s historic reserves for a rainy day.
“What we’ve done consistently is found more and more savings and we’ve added to reserves,” de Blasio said.
But the non-partisan Citizens Budget Commission said it’s not enough.
“They really missed a golden opportunity to do much more by putting more money in reserves, which can protect New Yorkers when the eventual economic downturn does come to be,” commission president Andrew Rein said.
This year’s budget is nearly $4 billion more than last year’s budget. Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the budget has grown because the economy has grown. Despite that, there are no plans right now for tax breaks for New Yorkers, Grymes reported.
“I would support a property tax rebate,” Johnson said. “We talked about it last year, but this is a different budget cycle than last year.”
A property tax rebate would need state approval. Johnson said a special commission is working on recommendations to bring to Albany next year.
The entire city council is expected to vote on the budget as early as this week.