Mayor Michael Bloomberg said better- than- expected tax collections in recent months suggest the city's multi-billion-dollar budget deficit might not be as steep as he once expected.
In a speech and question-and-answer session before a friendly business audience at a Crain's breakfast forum Thursday, a relaxed-sounding Mr. Bloomberg offered little detail on how he would solve the looming budget crisis, beyond saying city agency budgets would have to be cut further.
“If you can't raise any more revenues and you can't walk away from your obligation to provide the basic services, what do you do?” he asked. “I think we've shown exactly what to do. We've cut [agency budgets] seven times now [since 2007] and we'll find ways to do it again.”
But some of the cuts, which the mayor says total $3 billion for the fiscal year that ends in June, apply to projected spending. And despite the belt tightening, total city-funded spending is projected to increase to $46.9 billion in the current fiscal year from $45.3 billion in fiscal 2009, according to a May estimate by the Independent Budget Office that takes into account use of prior surpluses.
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