De Blasio, wife Chirlane McCray and 493 others will take unpaid furlough at some point between Oct. 1, 2020 and March 2021, which is expected to save $860,000, according to The New York Times.
“We have to make tough choices to move this city forward and keep our budget balanced,” de Blasio told reporters. The city has been facing a roughly $9 billion budget deficit since the coronavirus pandemic started in the earlier months of 2020.
He added that the “current fiscal year budget is $7 billion less” than what the city projected in February. New York City lost $336 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, according to an August report.
De Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
The mayor’s office budget will be 12% less this fiscal year compared to last year’s, which ended in June.
“I couldn’t have imagined no action by Washington, D.C., up until this point,” de Blasio said. “I thought it would be an article of faith that there would be a federal stimulus, but there hasn’t been, and I see no indication that there will be for the remainder of this year.”
With a mayoral salary of $258,541 per year, de Blasio is expected to miss out on around $4,972 in a week-long furlough.
The mayor’s office found $12 million in savings over previous budgets, he said.
“We’ve already had to make some tough cuts that have affected this city and the services we provide. We’re tried everything we can to stop from those cuts becoming worse. We don’t want to take away jobs from public employees, we don’t want to take away services from communities that need [them],” de Blasio said.
He added that New York City will continue to fight for a stimulus bill from Washington and borrowing from the state government.
The mayor mentioned later, while taking questions from reporters, that the city is “looking for every possible way to make the moves that [it] can make while continuing the conversations with long-term borrowing,” but a property tax on wealthier individuals is “off the table, period.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, in July urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to implement a wealth tax on billionaires in the state to garner aid for residents impacted by COVID-19. Cuomo rejected the idea in August, saying the city is “trying to get people to come back.”
New York City’s top 1% pays 50% of taxes in New York, the governor noted at the time.