4:15 pm Sep. 14, 2012
Thanks in part to a stalled taxi plan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration today directed agencies citywide to cut their budgets for this year and next.
"The gaps we are facing must be addressed," said budget director Mark Page, in a Friday memo to agency heads. "We will once again need to curtail planned spending, and do so in a way that prioritizes and preserves necessary City services and quality of life."
In the memo, Page asks agency commissioners to propose ways to cut a total of $2 billion from this and next fiscal year's budgets combined.
According to Marc LaVorgna, a spokesman for the mayor, the proposed cuts are necessary because the city projects a $2.5 billion deficit for next year, and a gap of more than $3 billion for each of the following two years.
These projections aren't new, though in June, they took on added urgency because the city's borough taxi plan, which was projected to bring in more than $1 billion during this year and next, got tied up in court.
The city is also counting on money from an agreement with the teachers' union over evaluations, one that has yet to be reached.
This is the beginning of that process.
In the memo, Page asks all "uniform" agencies, which include the police, fire, sanitation and corrections, to propose cuts of 2.7 percent for this year's budget and 4 percent for next year's.
The Department of Education must propose ways to slash this year's budget by 1.6 percent and next year's by 4 percent.
The rest of the city's agencies must figure out how to cut 5.4 percent this year and 8 percent next.
The agency proposals are due Oct. 4.
UPDATE: Here's a statement from City Council spokesman Justin Goodman: "With a multi-billion dollar deficit looming, it's only prudent to begin looking closely at the City's budget now. The cuts sought by the Mayor are sizable, and we share New Yorkers concerns about impact on important city services. As always the Council will work to ensure that all possible alternatives are considered before core programs are targeted for cuts."
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