NYC mayor’s budget proposal focuses on economic recovery

Stacy Kim

New York City Mayor Eric Adams made a distinctive goal of spending “taxpayer dollars more wisely” when he unveiled his first budget proposal assuring that the city will recover as it emerges from the pandemic.

As presented by Adams on Feb. 16, New York City’s $98.5 billion preliminary budget for the 2023 fiscal year reflects his commitment to put taxpayers’ money into fulfilling his priority— getting the city to emerge with a strong sense of equity and balance. .

The spending plan, which will save $4.3 billion more compared with the fiscal year 2022 budget modified by former mayor Bill de Blasio, was made with intent to help many families in New York City recover from adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a transformative time for our city,” Adams said as he introduced the budget.

Adams also ordered city agencies to cut 3% in savings through Program to Eliminate, which enabled the administration to reduce vacancy rates at city agencies without laying off workers. Through PEG, the mayor was able to set aside nearly $2 billion in savings.

His plan includes an investment of $250 million to increase the New York City Earned Income Tax Credit and $79 million to provide funding for 100,000 summer jobs for city youth. Additionally, $75 million is allocated toward expanding the Fair Fares program,which gives low-income residents half-price Metro Cards,and $30 million for first-time mothers heavily affected by COVID-19.

The impact of the plan will be substantial. For example, about 260,000 people are already enrolled in the Fair Fares program according to The New York Times.

With more money in the program’s budget, that number will increase, benefiting more people who rely on public transportation.

Adams proposed to help parents return to work by providing tax credits to businesses that provide free or subsidized child care. He recently told leaders of companies to get their workers back to offices and expects jobs to be recovered as well.

Although he did not propose to reduce funding for the NYPD, Adams’ efforts will be centered on strengthening and reinforcing it. Instead of reducing the budget, he will redeploy existing personnel and resources evenly to many parts of the city. In his “Blueprint to End Gun Violence,” Adams put out a number of proposals to reduce gun violence.

“My Administration will launch an unprecedented Summer Youth Employment and Youth Engagement Program for Summer 2022, as we know that gang violence and gun crimes spike in the summer months,” Adams said in a Jan. 24 address

“Part of this effort will include partnership with large businesses and corporations across the city, with a goal of identifying a paid internship opportunity for every young person who wants one.”

Adams’ investment in a summer job program will allow young New Yorkers who “have historically witnessed the doors being shut in their faces” to have access to work opportunities while also reducing the crime rate.

Additionally, to strengthen the mission of educating young people, his budget will allocate $14.4 billion in city funds to the Department of Education.

“Our city’s investments must center both economic and community health, development, and growth, and I believe that this year’s budget can meet these goals,” New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams told The Gotham Gazette.

The next step for the mayor is to negotiate the budget with the New York City Council, which will reach a final budget agreement before July 1.