NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were warnings Tuesday that Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s new budget — the biggest in New York City history — is inefficient and could create massive fiscal headaches for the next mayor.
Critics claim the roar of the printing presses — billions of dollars rolling into New York City from the state and federal governments — was music to the ears of de Blasio as he prepared his new budget. They charge that while the whopping $98.6 billion plan is good news for Bill, it’s bad news for whoever takes his place on Jan. 1, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.READ MORE: CDC Announces New Mask Guidance For People Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
“The mayor in this budget basically kicked the can down the road into the back of the next mayor’s head,” said Andrew Rein of the Citizens Budget Commission.
For starters, de Blasio is leaving his successor a $5 billion deficit, which he, himself, could start to deal with by enacting agency-wide efficiencies.
“We could lengthen sanitation routes so the trucks are filled up by the time the route is over. We could do some fleet savings,” Rein said. “We have 174 union welfare benefit funds. They should be consolidated. We did an estimate it would save $160 million a year.”READ MORE: NYPD Budget, Rising Gun Violence Dominate First Democratic New York City Mayoral Debate
The need for more efficient government is exacerbated by the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the city’s economy.
- The loss of 578,000 private sector jobs
- 323,000 families moving out of the city
- 1 million people still working remotely
Those factors spell uncertainty for future tax revenues. There is also concern about spending pandemic relief money from the federal government that runs out after a few years for ongoing programs like universal 3K.
Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City said the budget is a big risk.
“This budget, which increases spending, increases hiring on areas that are nice but not necessary, threatens to put us in another fiscal crisis in the next few years. We cannot afford that. That will send businesses and employees running from the city,” Wylde said.MORE NEWS: Former New Jersey Resident Heartbroken After Dog Dies During Grooming At PetSmart
Team de Blasio fought back. The mayor’s spokesman insisted that President Joe Biden gave the city money to stimulate the economy and that’s exactly what hizzoner is doing.