Mayor Eric Adams announced New York City’s Executive budget for Fiscal Year 2024 on Wednesday, April 26th. The budget came up to $106.7 billion, the highest it has ever been in the history of the city. The announced budget is $4 billion more than the preliminary budget proposed in January, a hike deemed necessary by the city to address the asylum-seeking migrant crisis the city is currently facing.
At the announcement, Mayor Adams labeled the budget as one that will help the city operate in a manner that lessens the burden on working-class people. This will serve as the last preliminary version of a budget to be negotiated over by Mayor Adams and the City Council. The final budget will have to be presented before July 1st.
“Our Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget prioritizes our working people’s agenda and keeps our city working for the benefit of all New Yorkers. But the challenges we face are real — including the costs of the asylum seeker crisis, the need to fund labor deals, and slowing tax revenue growth — and we must budget wisely,” said Mayor Adams.
Adams acknowledged the $4 billion increase in the city’s expenditure, stating it will be partially funded by the city’s tax revenue. He said, “[We] applied better than expected tax revenues from business, personal income tax sales and hotel tax.” For the 2024 year, tax revenues are slated to increase by $2.3 billion.
“The PEG (Programs to Eliminate the Gap) was a success, achieving $1.6 billion in savings across the two fiscal years, and over $3 billion in the out-years without a single layoff or service reductions. Further, we did not cut a single penny from libraries or cultural institutions, and adjusted savings targets for agencies to avoid cutting critical needs. This budget also makes upstream investments to uplift working New Yorkers, makes our city more sustainable, strengthens mental health services, and builds out the college-to-career pipeline. We had to make tough choices in this budget and balance competing needs, but our administration always puts the well-being of New Yorkers first, second, and third.”
Some of the city’s largest departments saw some changes to their budgets when compared to the figures from last year. The Department of Education’s budget decreased by $400 million, from $31 billion to $30.6 billion.
The NYPD’s budget will also decrease $200 million, from $5.5 billion to $5.3 billion. The Adams Administration ensured that the final figure for the NYPD budget would be closer to last year as federal grants had not been awarded yet. In the 2023 fiscal year, federal grants amounted to $180 million. The Adams Administration also noted that overtime for police officers had increased from previous years, with the NYPD putting aside $372 million but being projected to spend nearly $700 million in 2023. Governor Kathy Hochul has promised to cover a portion of the NYPD’s overtime cost, which primarily rose due to the increased police presence in the New York City subways in an effort to curb crime and make them safer for New Yorkers to use.
The Department of Homeless Services saw an increase in funding in the new executive budget, jumping from $2.4 billion to $4.1 billion. Funding to the Department of Homeless Services is in order to aid the migrant crisis. City operations are currently catering to the approximately 35,000 migrants across New York City. According to the city’s projections, expenditure on the migrant crisis will come up to $4.2 billion up to the end of the fiscal year 2024. The crisis has been a challenge as it was not expected and the city has a responsibility to offer assistance to the migrants.
Mayor Adams said, “Our continued progress is threatened by something beyond our control — the asylum seeker crisis.” He continued, “We expect to spend $1.4 billion this fiscal year on the asylum seeker crisis and $2.9 billion the next. That is $4.3 billion by July 2024 — just 15 months from now.”
The recent labor agreements the city made with District Council 37 and the Police Benevolent Association are also cited as the reason for the expenditure increasing. The labor agreements struck by both unions include raises and, across the period of their contracts, will cost the city $17 billion cumulatively over the next 4 years. With the current state of inflation and the possibility of more agreements that the city will make with other members of the labor force, expenditures are projected to continue to increase.
At the announcement of the Executive budget, the city said they would be launching a plethora of programs slated to uplift the working people of New York City. This includes providing services that benefit the city’s residents such as the programs that will offer citizens tax benefits, mental health services, and a pathway from college to a successful career.
$27 million in baseline funding has been allocated to the Behavioral Health Emergency Response Division (B-HEARD) program, with the Bronx becoming the first borough to be completely covered by the program. Under the pilot program, NYC Health + Hospitals mental health professionals, as well as FDNY EMTs respond to non-violent emergency calls instead of NYPD. LittleAfrica News interviewed Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services, and discussed the program when it was first announced. $1 million is being put towards telehealth mental health services for children in shelters under the Housing Blueprint.
$5.3 million of the budget is going towards increasing outreach about cash assistance, food assistance (SNAP), medicaid healthcare, and other programs under NYC Benefits. $19.3 million is going towards the MyCity platform, increasing its capabilities and adding childcare, workforce, and business portals.
In an effort to “give CUNY students the tools they need to get ahead,” $5.8 million is assigned to fund and expand the CUNY Reconnect program, which helps students return to school after leaving due to extenuating circumstances. $4.8 million is going towards the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative programs, connecting students with experts in the industry as well as advisors who can offer academic and career advice and aid in the procurement of internships.
The Adams Administration recently announced PlaNYC, a plan to make the city more climate resilient. Announced on Earth Day, the plan involves several programs which are all listed in the executive budget. $23.2 million is being invested in the citywide curbside organics program, in an effort to make the city greener. $11.7 million is slated to go to several other programs including Trail Formalization, Tree Risk Management, and Solar and Electrification for Low-Income Homeowners.
“We are at a Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs moment: food, shelter, clothing,” Adams said at a press briefing, emphasizing the need to focus on the basics. “Everyone that’s saying: spend, spend, spend. We would love to, [but] we must ensure the continuation of the economic stability of the city.”
In the Message of the Mayor, released as part of the Executive Budget, Mayor Adams says, “As we continue into the second year of this administration, we have also deepened out commitment to making investments and taking actions that promote equity and pathways to good paying jobs, provide and support to working people, and ensure that New York is a safe and clean place to live, work, and raise a family.”
He concluded his message by saying, “The actions we have taken in the Executive Budget will make our great city safer and cleaner, and more resilient, prosperous, and equitable…. As always, we will keep getting stuff done for New Yorkers, across every borough and in every neighborhood.