Bloomberg Asks NYC Agencies to Find $2 Billion in Budget Savings

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on agency heads to find $2 billion in savings in the next 18 months to help close projected budget deficits of more than $3 billion.

“The gaps we are facing must be addressed,” Budget Director Mark Page said in a letter to commisioners today. “We will once again need to curtail planned spending, and do so in a way that prioritizes and preserves necessary city services and quality of life.”

The Bloomberg administration in June planned a $68.7 billion budget for the 2013 fiscal year, which began July 1, forecasting $1 billion in the next two years from sale of 2,000 taxi medallions. That plan was thwarted when a court last month ruled the state law authorizing the medallion sale unconstitutional, adding $1 billion to what had already been a $2.5 billion gap in the $69.3 billion budget for the following year. The city has appealed the court decision.

“Since the budget gaps we face are likely to persist for multiple years, spending reductions that are recurring are obviously most valuable,” Page wrote.

Cuts for agencies except uniformed services and schools must equal 5.4 percent of this year’s budget and 8 percent next year, Page said in the letter. Police, fire and corrections departments must trim 2.7 percent of their spending through June 30, and 4 percent next year. Schools must cut 1.6 percent this year and 4 percent in 2014.

Cuts or Revenue

The proposal can include staff reductions and other cost-cutting measures, or plans to find outside sources of revenue, Page’s letter said.

The cuts are due Oct. 4, a month before the mayor presents his annual budget-modification plan to the City Council, Page said.

“Depending on the economic circumstances we face, and federal and state actions, the size of city-wide cuts may also need to increase or decrease, and implementation may need to be accelerated or other changes implemented,” Page wrote.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

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