Bloomberg says the potential loss of $1 billion in taxi revenue could mean a lot of layoffs

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A taxi in Sunnyside. (chrisgoldny via flickr)
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The potential loss of $1 billion in taxi medallion revenue could mean a lot of layoffs, according to the mayor. 

"It would mean a lot fewer workers, I’ll tell you that," Michael Bloomberg said, during his regular Friday appearance on the John Gambling Show.

Last week, a judge halted the city's far-reaching "borough taxi" plan, which was to create a new fleet of 18,000 green taxis to service the outer boroughs, where yellow taxis are scarce, as well as allow the city to auction of 2,000 regular yellow taxi medallions, for an estimated $1 billion.

The mayor included that $1 billion in his preliminary 2013 fiscal year budget.

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The judge's ruling was responding to a lawsuit filed by taxi medallion owners and backed by Public Advocate and 2013 mayoral contender Bill de Blasio.

At a recent City Council hearing, city budget director Mark Page indicated the ruling, if upheld (it may or may not be), could drastically impact the city's ability to balance its budget.

Today, the mayor said that would mean downsizing.

“The business model for government is you hire people to provide services," he said. "If you are gonna spend less, it’s plain and simple, fewer people. And you say, well do it with attrition. In a down economy, attrition doesn’t work. Nobody would leave, so it would be a very serious thing."

“If you were to lose all of this, it certainly would be difficult for the 2013 budget, which we’re negotiating with the City Council," he added. "It has to be done by the end of this month. It would be devastating for the 2014 budget, which would start a year later. And that one is already a big problem. “