City Council predicts $3.3B in additional revenue, says it’s enough to reverse Mayor’s budget cuts

The City Council projects the city will bring in $3.3 billion more in tax revenue for this fiscal year and the next than City Hall projects.
Credit: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit

The City Council estimates the city will rake in $3.3 billion in additional revenue for the current fiscal year and the next over what was projected by Mayor Eric Adams’ administration in January, money its leaders say must be used to reverse recent deep budget cuts.

In its latest economic forecast, obtained by amNewYork Metro, the council also predicts the higher revenue means the city will have a budget surplus of $1.32 billion for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2024, and $3.53 billion for fiscal year 2025.

The findings come as the council is set to begin its annual series of hearings analyzing the mayor’s $109.4 billion Fiscal Year 2025 preliminary budget plan. It also follows Adams late last month canceling a third round of planned 5% budget cuts for April, which would have come on top of two previous rounds he enacted in November and January.

Adams said he enacted the spending reductions so the city could close a sizable deficit and balance its books, but he canceled the April cuts and some of the January cuts, while backtracking on some of those he made in November. He said he was able to ease-up on some of the austerity measures because his own Office of Management and Budget (OMB) updated its tax revenue forecast to be higher than it was late last year and due to a plan to trim spending on the migrant crisis by 30%.

Yet leaders of the council, which consistently puts out higher revenue projections than OMB, has insisted the city had enough money to avoid the cuts all along and the mayor’s moves were unnecessary. 

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Finance Chair Justin Brannan, in a joint statement, said the strong revenue forecast shows the city should be making “different budget decisions,” starting with restoring funding for vital programs that the mayor took a knife to.

“From 3K to CUNY, libraries, and our cultural sector, stronger than expected tax revenues allow us to restore the blunt cuts that weren’t necessary in the first place,” Speaker Adams and Brannan said. “Economic uncertainty, uneven employment growth, and a durable but slow burning recovery makes it critical to adequately prepare our city for potential challenges. It’s vital that we continue prioritizing essential and targeted investments that promote health, safety, and opportunity for all New Yorkers.” 

The council has also called the mayor to fully lift a hiring freeze across city agencies, as the city continues to have widespread vacancies. The mayor last month did move from a full hiring freeze to a two-for-one hiring policy instead.

Mayor Adams insists that his administration has demonstrated “strong fiscal management” amid the ongoing migrant influx, which has seen the city spend large sums of money on providing for tens of thousands of new arrivals over the past two years. He has rebuked criticisms from council leadership and elsewhere of his budgeting moves, pointing to recent praise from top credit ratings agencies of how his office has handled the city’s fiscal challenges.

“The experts are saying we are doing it right,” the mayor said, during a news conference earlier this week. “We have accomplished this through proactive fiscal management, the stabilization of the asylum seeker spending and a strong economic recovery.”