New York City May Have $963 Million Surplus Amid Income Growth, IBO Says

  • The city benefits from 79 consecutive months of U.S. expansion
  • Predictions of NYC fiscal decline lack evidence, report says

New York City’s income and property-tax revenue has been so strong that Mayor Bill de Blasio can expect a surplus of $963 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, seven times more than he anticipated in drafting the 2016 budget, the Independent Budget Office said.

The office, a nonpartisan city agency that monitors municipal finances, said the national economy’s 79 straight months of expansion have helped the largest U.S. city create an unprecedented average 95,000 annual jobs since 2009. While gains will be slower in the next few years in education, health care, and business and professional services, the city still will probably have a surplus of about $320 million next year, it said.

“While some opinion leaders have warned that New York City is slipping back into the difficult times of the 1970s and early 1980s, there is little if any evidence to buttress such claims,” the agency said in its year-end review.

While the mayor has stowed at least $3.5 billion in reserves in an $80 billion budget, the city faces challenges including increasing costs of managing its public housing and hospitals. Future expenses include the mayor’s plans for subsidized housing and after-school programs, particularly if the U.S. enters a period of slow growth or recession, according to the report.

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