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Report: City has bigger surplus than projected

A report from the city's Independent Budget Office suggests there may be more money in city coffers than projected by the mayor's office.

To be precise, $581 million more.

According to its most recent forecast for Fiscal Year 2014, the IBO anticipated that city could end the fiscal year roughly $2.4 billion in the black. Bloomberg's office expected that number to be closer to $1.8 billion. Doug Turetsky, a spokesman for the IBO, which operates independently from the city, noted that such gaps are common.

"A budget isn't a written-in-stone document. Things change in terms of spending, positively and negatively," he said.

The report was quick to caution, however, that the larger-than-expected surplus hardly means the city is averting major budgetary concerns. "There are a number of challenges ahead that could quickly erode the city's fiscal condition," it said. "Largest among those challenges may be the cost of of an eventual settlement with the city's municipal labor unions."

The mayor's office did not directly comment on the gap between its own findings and that of the IBO's, instead using the release of the report to tout the strength of the city's economy on the eve of Blomberg's departure. "The incoming mayor is inheriting a balanced budget for the first time in recorded history. The potential for an actual surplus is further testament to our sound financial management and commitment to diversifying the city's economy," said Marc Lavorgna, Bloomberg's spokesman.

(Andrei Berman)

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