Yesterday Mayor de Blasio unveiled his $84.67 billion proposed spending year for New York City in the 2018 fiscal year. The proposal focuses on public safety, affordability, education, and infrastructure. The looming question on NYC’s budget this year is how any potential withdrawal of federal funding will impact the final NYC budget, set to be finalized before the summer.
The difficulty the Mayor and the City Council face this year is unique. New York City relies on a substantial amount of federal aid, $8.5 billion in this current fiscal year, money which is contingent on the federal government’s continued funding of such aid. Newly inaugurated President Trump has expressed his interest in withdrawing federal aid from cities that his administration deems “sanctuary cities,” that is, cities who leave immigration enforcement to the federal government. Mayor de Blasio has expressed a strong inclination to remain a sanctuary city, keeping with prior administrations stance on the issue.
Further uncertainty in regards to a loss of federal funding include federal policy changes that could potentially divert costs from the federal government to states and cities. Such uncertainly lies in potential changes to the Affordable Care Act, as well as expected changes to funding for public housing and social services. Numerous additional federal aid changes have the potential to ultimately impact NYC.
Several Council members, including City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and chairwoman of the Committee on Finance Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, have called for Mayor de Blasio to find ways to cut costs and spending further; the Mayor’s proposal already accounts for savings at city agencies, but several Council members are vocally expressing their desire to cut costs in the coming fiscal year.