New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Hochul gets early boost as NY gubernatorial race takes shape Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Boosters take a big step forward MORE (D) is cutting $2 billion from the city’s municipal services budget due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The cuts are a part of a total $89.3 billion cut to the executive budget that was revealed Thursday. The cuts will result in the closure of services such as public pools and reduced services for sanitation pickups, police traffic agents and overnight service on the Staten Island Ferry.
“Things we would love to focus on in peacetime, we don’t get to focus on in wartime,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing. “And this is in effect wartime. … Things that might have been a priority two months ago, three months ago, can’t be a priority right now.
The pandemic has resulted in record-high unemployment, which like the disease itself, has disproportionately impacted New York City. The loss will cost the city $7.4 billion in tax revenue in fiscal 2020 and 2021, according to the Times.
The new plan is $3.5 billion less than the one the city approved last year and $6 billion less than the preliminary plan the mayor introduced in January. The budget is still pending approval from the city council.
At his Thursday briefing, de Blasio called out the administration for what he called a lack of aid for his city at the expense of bailouts for impacted companies, such as those in the airline industry. Every state, including New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., has received $1.4 billion in direct aid.
As of Thursday evening there are 117,565 confirmed cases of the virus and 7,563 reported deaths.
“How about bailing out the nation’s largest city? How about bailing out the epicenter of this crisis where people have been suffering?” De Blasio asked. “We need the federal government to make up all lost revenue. Period.”