Mayor Eric Adams doubled down on his administration’s wide-sweeping budget cuts at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
“We have a $7 billion budget deficit,” Adams said Tuesday.
What You Need To Know
- On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams doubled down on the defense of his recent budget cuts
- The city is facing a budget gap of $7 billion that the mayor says is largely due to costs associated with providing for migrants
- Local lawmakers and New Yorkers have pushed back against the cuts, saying they eliminate critical programs and services
- The City Council over the weekend released new projections that show the city is set to collect more revenue than originally expected
Last month, Adams announced the first round of budget reductions, a 5% cut that will affect all agencies.
The move has been met with fierce pushback from local lawmakers and New York residents.
Over the weekend, the City Council released new projections that show the city is set to collect $1 billion more in revenue than the mayor’s office expected in the fiscal year that starts in July.
However, administration officials are doubtful of the projection, and said it wouldn’t be enough to close the budget gap.
“You remove $1.5 billion from that $7 billion, you still have $5.5 billion worth of gap,” said Jacques Jiha, the director of the Mayor's Office of Management and Budget. “Revenue itself cannot solve this problem.”
Adams did leave open the possibility of raising revenues, including taxes, in the future as an option, but noted that he doesn’t want to hurt working-class New Yorkers who could already be struggling.
“Nothing is off the table, but there are things you want to wait to do until you have to do,” Adams said.
Adams is already facing record low approval ratings from voters, who disapprove of his leadership skills and his ability to understand the problems of New Yorkers.
“I respect how New Yorkers are feeling. I respect their anger. I respect what they are feeling right now in this moment because many of them are struggling,” Adams said.
The mayor has placed the blame for the budget cuts on a lack of federal support.
“I don’t have deportation powers. I don’t have the power to turn buses around,” Adams said.
“All I have the power to do is balance the budget every two years,” Adams added.
Meanwhile, the mayor’s most recent trip to the White House did not lead to more aid for the five boroughs, even as the city continues to plead for more funding.
“Our team is doing a great job handling the crisis here, but he has to go to Washington. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and a closed mouth does not get fed,” said Ingrid Lewis-Martin, the chief advisor to the mayor.
The administration is looking to reduce migrant spending by 20% going into the next year and get migrants out of city care.
“We’re going to continue to provide care to asylum seekers, but it doesn't have to be as generous as we have been in the past,” Jiha said.
More than 150,000 migrants have come to the city since last spring, with over 65,000 currently in the city’s care.
The next round of budget cuts are set for January. However, the fire, police and sanitation departments are not expected to be included in that reduction.