From Gotham Gazette:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s eight-year city budget story can be broken into two chapters and an unfinished epilogue. In the first chapter, the mayor, having inherited economic and political circumstances beyond his control, masters fiscal turmoil by filling a nearly $8 billion budget gap with bold spending reductions and tax increases -- and puts the city back on a firm fiscal foundation.
In the second chapter, blessed with a robust economy and unanticipated new revenues, the mayor introduces new spending, including a major increase in capital spending. He also reduces taxes for high earners and property owners, and, not incidentally, expands his fiscal powers by building huge budget surpluses and creating a new reserve fund.
In the epilogue, the mayor in June 2009, facing a major recession and plunging tax revenues, patches together the 2010 budget, the last budget of his second term, filling yet another $8 billion budget gap with big expense and capital budget cuts, tapping into his reserve fund, and new tax increases.
The epilogue is unfinished, however as the patching fails to fill the cracks in the city’s fiscal foundation. The story comes full circle as the June 2009 Bloomberg financial plan paints a fiscal future as gloomy as that of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s June 2001, last financial plan for fiscal years 2002-2005.