Bloomberg proposes financial help plan
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Getty Images)
(AP) To help New Yorkers weather the economic
downturn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday he wants to relax
tax deadlines for some property owners and create a Web site for
laid-off financial workers to provide job listings and other
At a news conference at City Hall, Bloomberg outlined a series
of immediate steps to ease the financial burden for New Yorkers
struggling to deal with the upheaval on Wall Street.
There will be no magic bullet or easy fixes, Bloomberg
warned. But, he added, We will survive this crisis.Citing the precarious financial situation, Bloomberg recently
declared that the city needs him to stick around for four more
years and announced that he plans to run for re-election.
The billionaire businessman convinced the City Council to change
the citys term-limits law so that he could do so, sticking to his
argument that the financial emergency calls for his leadership and
Bloomberg has ordered agencies to cut spending by 2.5 percent
this fiscal year and another 5 percent the following year to help
bridge growing budget gaps.
The projected deficit for next fiscal year, which begins in
July, is expected to be at least $3 billion when the city releases
its latest figures next week.
In addition to calling for spending cuts, the mayor had also
asked city departments to come up with ways to help individuals get
through upcoming tough times.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Bloomberg said the panic
is probably over in the financial markets, but he said the next
wave is already being felt citywide as businesses feel the pain of
One way his administration intends to soften the blow is to help
property owners with the payment schedules on their taxes.
Bloomberg wants to adjust the deadlines for properties valued at
$250,000 or less so that property owners would pay smaller amounts
once a quarter rather than large payments twice a year, as they do
now. It would require council action to do so.
And while New York City has not seen the same rates of
foreclosures as the rest of the nation, the administration is also
planning to use $24 million in federal funding to purchase
foreclosed properties and turn them into affordable housing.
The city is planning to launch a yearlong public awareness
campaign to inform New Yorkers about how to take control of their
finances, with a first phase focusing on dealing with debt.
Bloomberg also plans to create a Web site targeted for
entry-level and mid-career professionals who have recently lost
their jobs in financial services.
It would provide job listings, freelance consulting
opportunities, help with health insurance, plus continuing
education and training resources.
The city comptroller projected earlier this month that the city
could lose 165,000 jobs over the next two years, including as many
as 35,000 in the financial services industry.